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Factor and subscale structure of a parental health locus of control instrument (Parental Health Beliefs Scales) for use in a mainland United States Puerto Rican community


  • Pachter, Lee M.
  • Sheehan, Joseph
  • Cloutier, Michelle M.


This study was undertaken to determine whether the subscale structure of an instrument used to measure parental health locus of control is a valid representation of the concept of locus of control in the Puerto Rican community. Ethnocultural differences in values and attitudes may create different conceptualizations of questionnaire items, which may impact on the subscale factor loadings for these items. Four hundred and twenty parents of Puerto Rican ethnicity living in a mainland inner city community in the United States completed the Parental Health Beliefs Scales (PHBS) instrument, which was developed to measure parental locus of control regarding their children's health. Results were subject to exploratory factor analysis. The resultant factor structure was then compared to other published factor structures by confirmatory factor analysis. Exploratory factor analysis results show a new five factor solution. Compared to two previously published factor structures for this instrument, the new five factor structure has a better goodness of fit for this Puerto Rican study sample. Through item analysis, we were able to refine the final structure into a four factor, 15 item instrument. We conclude that the new factor structure for the PHBS creates an instrument with subscales that reflect Puerto Rican cultural beliefs and values, especially as it pertains to locus of control issues (e.g. respect of professionals, collectivism, and the importance of fate). When working with ethnocultural minority groups, the health services researcher needs to be certain that the research instruments used are culturally appropriate and sensitive.

Suggested Citation

  • Pachter, Lee M. & Sheehan, Joseph & Cloutier, Michelle M., 2000. "Factor and subscale structure of a parental health locus of control instrument (Parental Health Beliefs Scales) for use in a mainland United States Puerto Rican community," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 715-721, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:50:y:2000:i:5:p:715-721

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