Measuring health beliefs on the Internet: A comparison of paper and Internet administrations of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale

Abstract

A growing number of studies have supported the use of unidimensional psychometric test instruments administered via the Internet; however, support for the use of multidimensional scales is weak. The present study compares paper and Internet administrations of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) Scale (Wallston & Wallston, 1981). In terms of reliabilities and factor structures, the Internet data were found to be at least as good as the paper data. MHLC scores were comparable for paper and Internet administrations, although the Internet sample scored significantly lower on the Powerful Others subscale. Overall, the results show that administration of the MHLC Scale via the Internet can produce data comparable to that obtained by pen-and-paper methods. However, it is concluded that generalization of these findings beyond the psychometric test instrument and sampling procedures used here is not warranted.

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Correspondence to Claire Hewson.

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Hewson, C., Charlton, J.P. Measuring health beliefs on the Internet: A comparison of paper and Internet administrations of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale. Behavior Research Methods 37, 691–702 (2005). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03192742

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Keywords

  • Behavior Research Method
  • Multidimensional Scale
  • Paper Data
  • Internet Data
  • Internet Sample