Online Program

Factor structure of a revised Spiritual Health Locus of Control (SHLOC) Scale in a national sample of African Americans

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Daisy Le, MPH/MA, Department of Behavioral & Community Health (BCH) - CHAMP Lab, University of Maryland, College Park - School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Cheryl L. Holt, PhD, Department of Behavioral and Community Health; School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
David L. Roth, PhD, Professor in the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine; Director of the Center on Aging and Health (COAH) at Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Jin Huang, PhD, MS, Center on Aging and Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Eddie M. Clark, PhD, Department of Psychology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Background: Spiritual health locus of control (SHLOC) beliefs reflect the extent to which a person feels that a higher power (e.g., God) plays a role in their health. The SHLOC scale includes both an “active” (e.g., God + [self; doctors] = health) and a “passive” (e.g., God > [self; doctors] = health) subscale. We revised the SHLOC scale, adding items to better reflect the passive dimension of SHLOC beliefs.

Methods: The revised SHLOC scale includes 27 statements, including new items tapping the passive dimension (e.g., “If I am close to God, I don’t need to see a doctor for healing”). N=178 African Americans completed the revised SHLOC as part of a national telephone health survey. The factor structure of the new scale was examined using principal components analysis.

Results: A two-factor structure (active, passive) was found to fit the data with most items loading on the intended factor. Exceptions were five items with ambiguous or low factor loadings, which were eliminated, resulting in a 22-item revised scale. Internal reliability was strong for both the final active (α= .92) and passive (α= .93) dimensions.

Discussion: The revised SHLOC scale does a better job of assessing both the active and passive dimensions of these complex beliefs about the combined roles of self, doctors, and God in health. Such beliefs have salience for African Americans in the way that many think about health and illness, and have implications for integration into culturally targeted health promotion interventions and faith-based initiatives in health care policy.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the roles of the self, doctors, and a higher power (e.g., God) in people’s health and illness. Assess beliefs about the roles of the self, doctors, and a higher power (e.g., God) in people’s health and illness. Discuss the challenges involved in assessing complex, potentially sensitive, multi-component health locus of control beliefs.

Keyword(s): African American, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student investigator on this five-year NIH R01-funded research project. I am also a UMD faculty research assistant & doctoral candidate working under the guidance of Dr. Cheryl Holt (PI) supporting the CHAMP lab in the areas of cancer, health disparities, & health communication among others. I currently assist with research grants centered on community/faith-based and culturally appropriate interventions. My research interests include CBPR and cancer prevention, care, and control among minority populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.