Work-related, socio-cultural, and personal factors associated with locus of control among Australian general practitioners

Daya Ram Parajuli, Shahid Ullah, Matthew McGrail, Craig S McLachlan, Vivian Isaac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Locus of control (LoC) is a social cognition, that relates to the level of self-control that people have over their personal environment that influences their life. In this context, LoC is frequently associated with work-related behavioral outcomes, ranging from job attitudes, career behaviors, stress, and burnout.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between LoC, and work-related behavioral factors, socio-cultural factors, and personal factors among Australian General Practitioners (GPs).

METHODS: This study utilized data from the 2010 Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey of doctors. Locus of control (LoC) was measured by a 7-point Likert scale based on Pearlin-Schooler Mastery/Self-efficacy 7-item Scale. Higher score indicated lower internal LoC. Multivariate linear regression model was performed to determine the independent predictors of LoC.

RESULTS: Of 3,664 GP participants, LoC did not differ by gender. Poor/fair self-rated health, working in urban location, running a stressful practice, poor balance of professional and personal commitments, poor support network, financial circumstances after retirement, and perception of unrealistic expectation by patients were significant predictors for a lower Internal LoC in a multivariate linear regression model. Adjusted R2 explained 22.4% of variation in predicting the LoC in our models.

CONCLUSIONS: LoC of Australian GPs is negatively affected by poor work-life balance, inadequate support, and unrealistic patient expectation. These work-place specific factors could be targeted by interventions to improve GPs wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-595
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Early online date29 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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