Health Locus of Control
Health Reality ModelsCONCLUSIONS
Discussion of Results
This investigation focused on the relationships between culture, belief, and health. First the influence of belief on health was explored. Past research has noted a relationship between the perception of control and health, equating belief in control as beneficial, and perceived lack of control as deleterious. This was retested by looking at the relationship between health locus of control (with the Health Locus of Control scale) and self-reported psychosomatic symptoms (with the Psychosomatic Complaints Scale of Stress), using a sample of 160 University of Massachusetts, Amherst students. A regression revealed a marginally significant relationship with individuals with an internal Health Locus of Control displaying lower scores on the Psychosomatic Complaints Scale of Stress and externals displaying higher scores (p=.056). The influence of culture on belief, and specifically of immersion in dominant society on health belief, was then examined. Past research has noted the link between culture and acculturation status with health and health beliefs. Immersion in dominant society using the Multi-group Acculturation Scale was investigated for its ability to predict one's Health Locus of Control (a specific health belief) using this same sample of subjects. Regression analysis and an ANOVA showed no significant results (p=.31; p=.54, respectively). Both the marginally significant results of the first analysis (health locus of control and psychosomatic symptoms) and insignificant results of the second analysis are thought to be due to the low variance of the sample. Future studies are suggested and efforts to reach a more diverse population are encouraged. A confluence approach to health is also discussed to recognize the interaction between culture, mode of acculturation, belief, and physiological/ environmental factors on one's health status.