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ERIC Number: EJ1006419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 37
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 268
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
Cultural Meaning of Perceived Control: A Meta-Analysis of Locus of Control and Psychological Symptoms across 18 Cultural Regions
Cheng, Cecilia; Cheung, Shu-fai; Chio, Jasmine Hin-man; Chan, Man-pui Sally
Psychological Bulletin, v139 n1 p152-188 Jan 2013
Integrating more than 40 years of studies on locus of control (LOC), this meta-analysis investigated whether (a) the magnitude of the relationship between LOC and psychological symptoms differed among cultures with distinct individualist orientations and (b) depression and anxiety symptoms yielded different patterns of cultural findings with LOC. We included studies that examined global self-ratings of LOC and at least 1 of the criterion variables in nonclinical samples (age range: 18-80 years). Data were analyzed on the basis of 152 independent samples, representing the testing of 33,224 adults across 18 cultural regions. Results revealed moderately strong relationships for external LOC with depression symptoms (k = 123, N = 28,490, r = 0.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.27, 0.32]) and anxiety symptoms (k = 65, N = 13,208, r = 0.30, 95% CI [0.27, 0.33]). Individualism explained 20% of unique variance only in the external LOC-anxiety relationship: The link between external LOC and anxiety symptoms was weaker for collectivist societies (k = 8, N = 2,297, r = 0.20, 95% CI [0.13, 0.28]) compared with individualist societies (k = 54, N = 9,887, r = 0.32, 95% CI [0.29, 0.34]). Such cultural differences were attributed to the reduced emphasis on agentic goals in more collectivist societies. It is noteworthy that external LOC does not carry the same negative connotations across cultures, and members of collectivist societies may be more ready to endorse such items. Culture has been examined at the country level, and the findings may not be applicable to any particular person in a cultural region. Implications for integrating cultural meaning of perceived control into formulation of theories, research design, and intervention programs are discussed. (Contains 4 tables, 3 figures and 7 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Asia; Australia; Canada; Netherlands; United States