Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Kobrak

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Peters

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronald Parsons


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between locus of control orientation and the nutrition health status of adult WIC participants in Michigan. The locus of control variable is defined as the degree to which an individual perceives reinforcement or outcomes as contingent upon his or her own behavior. It ranges from internal to external. Internal locus of control is the individual's belief that s/he is an actor and can determine one's fate within limits. External locus of control is the person's belief that s/he is controlled by forces outside of one's self (Lefcourt, 1976; Koger, 1999). The locus of control variable is measured by the participant's score on the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) Scales. MHLC is a self-report questionnaire, which measures participant's beliefs regarding control outcomes. The examination of locus of control is important to this study because locus of control influences behavior. According to social learning theory, WIC clients who have an internal locus of control are more likely to change their nutrition behavior, have better health status and therefore, have better quality of life.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access