Race and sex differences in health locus of control beliefs and cardiovascular reactivity

Dawn K. Wilson, Zondrah L. Williams, Kristopher Arheart, Elaine S. Bryant, Bruce S. Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Examined the effects of race, sex, health locus of control (HLC), and the interactions of these variables on cardiovascular reactivity in 214 children. Participants completed the Multidimensional HLC scales for children. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured at rest and during a reactivity task. Black boys had significantly higher scores on the powerful others (external HLC) subscale (p < 0.01) than white boys and girls. Furthermore, black boys showed greater systolic blood pressure reactivity when they were low on internality (vs. high) as compared to the other race-sex groups. Social and cultural factors may explain these differential findings across race and sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-778
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Children
  • Health focus of control
  • Race
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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