Professionalization and its effect on health locus of control among Indian dental students.

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Abstract

The objectives of this study were to assess the effect of different stages of professionalization on the health locus of control of students in an Indian dental school and to describe possible factors that may influence the health locus of control among dental students. The multidimensional health locus of control (MHLC) scale was distributed to 372 undergraduate dental students at one school in India, and 325 students returned completed forms. Comparison of the mean scores for the three MHLC subscales (Internal, Chance, and Powerful Others) from first year to final year showed that the mean Internal score remained unchanged in the first and second year, but decreased in the third year and rose sharply in the final year. The mean score for the Internal subscale was consistently higher, followed by the mean scores for Powerful Others in all the years of study. No significant differences were observed between mean scores of the MHLC subscales when compared with gender, previous treatment histories, and missing appointments. Those with self-perceived oral problems were found to have a lower internal locus of control than those who did not report any. The findings of this study provided credible support for the MHLC model in assessing changing health attitudes and may provide a basis for dental educators to effect changes in the locus of control among students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Volume72
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2008

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

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