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Validation of the Parent Health Locus of Control Scales in an Italian sample

Sabrina Bonichini1*, Giovanna Axia1 and Marc H Bornstein2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization, University of Padua, 35131, Padova, Italy

2 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, USA

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Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2009, 35:13  doi:10.1186/1824-7288-35-13

Published: 19 May 2009



This study examined the psychometric properties and the replicability of De Vellis's (1993) Parent Health Locus of Control (PHLOC) scales in an Italian sample.


The Italian version of PHLOC was administered to 470 mothers of birth to 3-year-old children.


Varimax rotated confirmatory factor analysis identified the six original subscales, namely Child, Divine, Fate, Media, Parental, and Professional influences over child health. Internal consistency of the subscales was good (α > .70), and test-retest correlations were adequate (r > .80). More highly educated mothers rated media influence as most important. No differences were found considering children's age, gender, and birth order.


The results offer good evidence of the cross-cultural validity of the PHLOC scales, an instrument that can be useful in interventions with families by the health care practitioners to prevent neglectful childrearing practices.