The purpose of this descriptive study was to measure and compare differences in young women with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and young women without a sexually transmitted disease on the internal, chance and powerful others scales of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC). Three directional hypotheses guided this study: (1.) Young women with an STD have a higher Powerful Other Health Locus of Control (PHLC) than women without an STD. (2.) Young women with an STD have a higher Chance Health Locus of Control (CHLC) than women without an STD. (3.) Young women without an STD have a higher Internal Health Locus of Control (IHLC) than women without an STD. The Health Belief Model was the theoretical framework. Young women aged 18 to 25 comprised the non-random convenience sample (N = 33) at three public health clinics. Health Locus of Control beliefs were measured using the MHLC Instrument. Matched pairs were analyzed using the t-test procedure (p < .05). There were no significant differences between young women with an STD and young women without an STD (CHLC, p = .085, PHLC, p = -1.79, and IHLC, p = -1.50); therefore, the researcher rejected the directional hypothesis and accepted the null hypothesis. The researcher concluded that there are no significant differences on these i i i three belief orientations when comparing these groups of young women. An implication for nursing is to include specific educational measures relevant to STD prevention for women who have either internal or external locus of control beliefs. Recommendations were made for replication of this study with a larger, more racially and socioeconomically diverse sample; development of a valid and reliable instrument for measuring locus of control beliefs specific to women with high-risk health practices; implementation of qualitative research exploring the health beliefs of young women engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors; assessment of the Health Locus of Control in practice with respect to education and counselling; and promotion of the FNP as a collaborating member within IRB's to serve as an advocate for issues related to women's health.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Mary Patricia Curtis

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons