Observed maternal strategies and children's health locus of control in low-income mexican american families

Norma Olvera, Roxana Remy, Thomas G. Power, Carolyn Bellamy, Jennifer Hays-Grudo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship among mothers' health locus of control (HLOC) beliefs, their socialization strategies, and their children's HLOC beliefs in 80 low-income Mexican American families. Maternal socialization strategies were assessed from videotaped interactions of mothers and children engaged in a structured task. Factor analysis of the coded strategies yielded 4 factors: Tell Answer, Teaching, Clarify, and Reinforce. Findings indicated that maternal-health-internally scores negatively predicted mothers' use of the Tell Answer strategies and positively predicted their use of Teaching strategies. Mothers who believed that Powerful Others (e.g., health professionals) controlled their health were more likely to use the Tell Answer strategy. In contrast, mothers who believed that health was due to chance were less likely to use Teaching. Maternal use of Teaching strategies predicted children's internal HLOC, whereas maternal Tell Answer strategies predicted children's external HLOC. Findings suggest that mothers' HLOC beliefs influence the socialization strategies they use and that these strategies are associated with children's HLOC beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-463
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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