The Life Control Scale: Validation with a Population Cohort of Middle-Aged Australian Women
- 96 Downloads
The concept of perceived control is central to many theories of physical and emotional well-being. However, existing measures are lengthy and generally focus on job control. In epidemiological research, brief measures and those which can be applied across entire populations are needed. Among women in particular, a substantial minority have no paid work, while most also have major unpaid family commitments which may affect well-being through their effect on control. Thus, we evaluated the six-item Life Control Scale (Bobak, Soc Sci Med. 47:269–79, 1998) with a population-based sample of middle-aged women.
A population-based sample of 11,223 women aged 50 to 55, participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, completed the Life Control Scale as part of an omnibus survey of health and psychosocial factors.
The scale was demonstrated to be unifactorial and internally reliable and to show the expected relationships with several measures of socioeconomic position, physical health, and mental health.
The Life Control Scale is brief, valid, and broadly applicable in epidemiological research.
KeywordsPerceived control Women Physical health Mental health Socioeconomic position
The research on which this paper is based was conducted as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, The University of Newcastle, and The University of Queensland. We are grateful for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging for funding and to the women who provided the survey data.
- 1.Steptoe A, Appels A, editors. In: Stress, personal control and health. Oxford: Wiley; 1989.Google Scholar
- 2.Walker J. Control and the psychology of health: theory, measurement and applications. London: Open University Press; 2001.Google Scholar
- 10.Karasek R. Job content questionnaire: a research tool to assess job related stress. http://www.uml.edu/Dept/WE/research/jcq/jcq.htm (1999). Accessed 20th November 2007.
- 13.Lachman ME, Boone James J, editors. In: Multiple paths of midlife development. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1997.Google Scholar
- 15.Rosengren S, Hawken S, Ôunpuu K, Sliwa M, Zubaid W, Almahmeed K, et al. Association of psychosocial risk factors with risk of acute myocardial infarction in 11,119 cases and 13,648 controls from 52 countries (the INTERHEART study): case-control study. Lancet. 2004;364(9438):953–62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 18.Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census of population and housing. http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d3310114.nsf/Home/census (2007). Accessed 20th November 2007.
- 19.Ware J, Kosinski M, Keller SD. SF-36 physical and mental health summary scales: a user’s manual. Boston: The Health Institute, New England Medical Centre; 1994.Google Scholar
- 33.Bosma H, Schrijvers C, Mackenbach JP. Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality and importance of perceived control: cohort study. Br Med J. 1999;319:1469–70.Google Scholar