Health locus of control beliefs and healthy survival with AIDS

Rachel Ruffin, Gail Ironson, May Ann Fletcher, Elizabeth Balbin, Neil Schneiderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Health Locus of Control (HLOC) has been related to a number of psychosocial and medical variables in previous research in HIV. However, there is little information about its relationship to disease status, or about the Doctors subscale (DHLOC), in this population. Purpose: The main purpose of the present study was to determine whether HLOC beliefs were related to "healthy survival with AIDS" status, and to do so with the DHLOC subscale in addition to the other HLOC subscales. Method: Two HIV-positive groups, healthy survivors (HS; n = 70) who had experienced an asymptomatic period of ≥9 months despite low CD4 cells (<50) without the aid of protease inhibitors and a matched control group (MC; n = 70) of individuals in the mid-range of disease progression were compared on the HLOC scales. Several factors were examined as potential mediators. Results: The HS group had significantly higher DHLOC and lower Internal HLOC (IHLOC) than the MC group. Both DHLOC and IHLOC contributed unique variance in relationship to HS status. These findings were not due to group differences in age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, sexual orientation, or HIV viral load. Conclusions: HLOC may contribute to the particular psychosocial profile of this relatively "rare" group of HIV-positive individuals who remained asymptomatic despite very low CD4 cells. Higher DHLOC and lower IHLOC beliefs may be adaptive for HIV-positive individuals at an advanced stage of disease progression, and therefore modifying HLOC beliefs may be a worthwhile focus of future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-517
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of behavioral medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • AIDS
  • Health Locus of Control beliefs
  • Healthy survival with AIDS
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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