Since obesity and oversight continue to be prevalent health care problems affecting 45% of adult women in the United States, health care providers must understand the factors which influence an individual to participate in weight reduction activities. Therefore, the purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to determine if there was a relationship between health locus of control and successful weight loss among women in weight reduction programs. Pender's Health Promotion Model was used as the conceptual framework for the study. The research hypothesis for this study was there is a positive relationship between internal locus of control and successful weight loss among women in weight reduction programs. The convenience sample was composed of 60 women between the ages of 21 and 50 years. Data were collected using the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale and the Demographic Data Sheet. Data were analyzed using the Pearson product-moment correlation, descriptive statistics, and content analysis. There was no significant relationship between successful weight loss and internal locus of control (p = .05); thus the researcher rejected the hypothesis. However, responses to the open-ended questions implied that many participants were internally motivated to lose weight. Findings from this study imply that advanced practice nurses need to include assessment of health-promoting activities, such as diet, exercise, and other weight management modalities, in the plan of care for each client. Education and follow-up must be stressed and monitored in order to evaluate the client's response to treatment. Recommendations were made for conduction of more research using Pender's Health Promotion Model, conduction of research which incorporates teaching and learning strategies which affect health behaviors, and implementation of qualitative research methods to explore health-promoting activities and motivations of overweight and obese women.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Lorraine Hamm

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynn Chilton

Third Advisor

Janice Giallourakis

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons