Locus of control, self-reported health risks, and biomedical measurements among public school personnel

Patrick Joseph Leonard


The purpose of this study was to compare the self-reported responses from the Personal Wellness Profile Questionnaire and the Locus of Control Survey with measured biomedical data among Lafayette Parish School Board's administrators/management, support staff employees, and teachers. The methods included collection of self-reported wellness factors and health practices from a wellness questionnaire and the scoring of a locus of control survey and a clinical assessment of biomedical measurements. The results would then be used in the evolutionary phases of a more comprehensive wellness/health program for the employees of Lafayette Parish School Board. The subjects in this study consisted of 389 females and males, aged 22-67 years. This represents 11.2% of the total employee population. The wellness questionnaire was completed prior to the biomedical measurements followed by the delivery of the Locus of Control surveys to all screening sites no less than one week later. Pillai's Trace multivariate test revealed a significant difference $(p = .039)$ in the average mean scores of internal and external Locus of Control persons for health practices and wellness factors. The univariate analysis of health practices and wellness factors indicated a significant difference $(p = .011)$ between internals and externals for wellness factors but not for health practices. A Chi-square test $(p < .001)$ and analysis of variance $(p < .001)$ showed a significant difference between the administrator/teacher groups and the support staff. The support staff was indicated to score significantly higher for externality, and the administrators and teachers showed an internal Locus of Control orientation. Pillai's Trace multivariate test did not reveal a significant difference between the health risk assessment and absenteeism for locus of control orientation. However, when a univariate test of between-subjects effects was applied, a significant difference $(p < .05)$ was revealed for BMI, systolic blood pressure, and coronary risk. Those subjects with an internal Locus of Control were significantly younger, as shown by a t-test $(p = .014).$ Chi-square results $(p < .001)$ revealed a significant difference in race with Blacks being significantly external. No significant difference between internal and external Locus of Control could be found between gender.