Locus of control (LOC) measures an individual׳s expectancy regarding their ability to affect what happens to them based on their behavior. Those with an internal LOC (ILOC) believe their own behavior influences what happens to them. Those with an external LOC (ELOC) perceive that what happens to them is beyond their control (i.e. determined by luck, fate, chance or powerful others) . A vast amount of research (mainly cross-sectional) suggests that an ELOC is associated with many adverse personal, social, academic and health outcomes. LOC data were uniquely collected prenatally from over 12,000 pregnant women and their partners enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). The LOC measure used was a shortened version of the adult version of the Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External locus of control scale. This was administered to the mothers within self-completion questionnaires at three-time points: during pregnancy, at 6 and at 18 years post-partum. In parallel, self-completion questionnaires containing the same LOC questions were completed by their partners during pregnancy, at 6 and 20 years later. ALSPAC LOC data are unique in that they measured orientation over time and on a much larger sample of respondents than is usual. We describe the scale used, why it was chosen and how individual scores changed over time.
- Prenatal parental locus of control
- Change over time