Psychometric properties of the Weight Locus of Control Scale (MWLCS): study with Spanish individuals of different anthropometric nutritional status

Abstract

Introduction

The Multidimensional Weight Locus of Control Scale (MWLCS) measures a person’s beliefs regarding the locus of control or lack of locus of control over his/her body weight.

Purpose

We aim to evaluate the factorial structure and psychometric properties of the MWLCS with Spanish normal weight, overweight and obese samples.

Methods

The research was carried out in two different studies. The first included a sample of 140 normal weight participants, selected out of a 274 sample recruited with an online survey. Study 2 was carried out in a sample of 633 participants recruited from the PREDIMED-Plus study. Out of them, 558 participants fulfilled the weight criteria and were categorized into: overweight (BMI 25 − < 29.99; N = 170), obese class I (BMI 30 − < 34.99; N = 266), and obese class II (BMI 35 − < 39.99; N = 122). Exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory (CFA) factor analyses were used to evaluate the factor structure of the MWLCS, and reliabilities and Spearman’s correlations were estimated. Invariance measurement was tested across the three subgroups of weight in Study 2.

Results

A three-factor structure indicating weight locus of control factors (internal, chance, and powerful others) was supported, both via EFA in the normal weight sample and CFA in the overweight and obese samples. In the normal weight sample, the powerful others dimension was positively related to BMI and the dimensions of the Dutch Eating Behaviors Questionnaire. Additionally, the scale showed evidence of scalar invariance across the groups with different weight conditions.

Conclusions

This scale seems to be a psychometrically appropriate instrument and its use is highly recommended when designing interventions for overweight or obese individuals.

Level of evidence

Level V, descriptive study.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    Montesi L, El Ghoch M, Brodosi L et al (2016) Long-term weight loss maintenance for obesity: a multidisciplinary approach. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes 9:37–46. https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S89836

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Alamuddin N, Wadden TA (2016) Behavioral treatment of the patient with obesity. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 45:565–580. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ECL.2016.04.008

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Meule A, Vögele C (2017) Grand challenges in eating behavior research: preventing weight gain, facilitating long-term weight maintenance. Front Psychol 8:388. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00388

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Elfhag K, Rossner S (2005) Who succeeds in maintaining weight loss? A conceptual review of factors associated with weight loss maintenance and weight regain. Obes Rev 6:67–85. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2005.00170.x

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Rotter JB (1966) Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychol Monogr Gen Appl 80:1–28. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0092976

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Neymotin F, Nemzer LR (2014) Locus of Control and obesity. Front Endocrinol 5:159. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2014.00159(Lausanne)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Adolfsson B, Andersson I, Elofsson S et al (2005) Locus of control and weight reduction. Patient Educ Couns 56:55–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2003.12.005

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Goldney RD, Cameron E (1981) Locus of control as a predictor of attendance and success in the management of obesity. Int J Obes 5:39–43

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Balch P, Ross AW (1975) Predicting success in weight reduction as a function of locus of control: a unidimensional and multidimensional approach. J Consult Clin Psychol 43:119

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Ross MW, Kalucy RS, Morton JE (1983) Locus of control in obesity: predictors of success in a jaw-wiring programme. Br J Med Psychol 56:49–56. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8341.1983.tb01531.x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Anastasiou CA, Fappa E, Karfopoulou E et al (2015) Weight loss maintenance in relation to locus of control: the MedWeight study. Behav Res Ther 71:40–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.BRAT.2015.05.010

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Nir Z, Neumann L (1995) Relationship among self-esteem, internal-external locus of control, and weight change after participation in a weight reduction program. J Clin Psychol 51:482–490. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-4679(199507)51:4%3c482:AID-JCLP2270510403%3e3.0.CO;2-A

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Steptoe A, Wardle J (2001) Locus of control and health behaviour revisited: a multivariate analysis of young adults from 18 countries. Br J Psychol 92:659–672. https://doi.org/10.1348/000712601162400

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Cobb-Clark DA, Kassenboehmer SC, Schurer S (2014) Healthy habits: the connection between diet, exercise, and locus of control. J Econ Behav Organ 98:1–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JEBO.2013.10.011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Holt CL, Clark EM, Kreuter MW (2001) Weight locus of control and weight-related attitudes and behaviors in an overweight population. Addict Behav 26:329–340. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0306-4603(00)00108-8

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Gale CR, Batty GD, Deary IJ (2008) Locus of control at age 10 years and health outcomes and behaviors at age 30 years: the 1970 British cohort study. Psychosom Med 70:397–403. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e31816a719e

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Saltzer EB (1982) The Weight Locus of Control (WLOC) Scale: a specific measure for obesity research. J Personal Assess 46:620–628. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa4606_11

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Stotland S, Zuroff DC (1990) A new measure of Weight Locus of Control: the Dieting Beliefs Scale. J Personal Assess 54:1–2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Wallston KA, Strudler Wallston B, DeVellis R (1978) Development of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) Scales. Health Educ Behav 6:160–170. https://doi.org/10.1177/109019817800600107

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Wallston KA, Wallston BS (1989) Who is responsible for your health? The construct of health locus of control. In: Sanders GS, Suls J (eds) Social psychology of health and illness. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 65–95

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Wallston KA, Stein MJ, Smith CA (1994) Form C of the MHLC Scales: a condition-specific measure of locus of control. J Personal Assess 63:534–553. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa6303_10

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Wallston KA (2005) The validity of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scales. J Health Psychol 10:623–631. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105305055304

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Pasick Rena J, D’onofrio CN, Otero-Sabogal R (1996) Similarities and differences across cultures: questions to Inform a third generation for health promotion research. Health Educ Q 23:142–161. https://doi.org/10.1177/109019819602301S11

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Barberia AM, Attree M, Todd C (2008) Understanding eating behaviours in Spanish women enrolled in a weight-loss treatment. J Clin Nurs 17:957–966. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02073.x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Vallejo-Medina P, Gómez-Lugo M, Marchal-Bertrand L, Saavedra-Roa A, Soler F, Morales A (2017) Developing guidelines for adapting questionnaires into the same language in another culture. Ter psicol 35:159–172. https://doi.org/10.4067/s0718-48082017000200159

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Van Strien T, Frijters JER, Bergers GPA, Defares PB (1986) The Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) for assessment of restrained, emotional, and external eating behavior. Int J Eat Disord 5:295–315. https://doi.org/10.1002/1098-108X(198602)5:2%3c295:AID-EAT2260050209%3e3.0.CO;2-T

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Barrada JR, van Strien T, Cebolla A (2016) Internal structure and measurement invariance of the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) in a (nearly) representative Dutch Community sample. Eur Eat Disord Rev 24:503–509. https://doi.org/10.1002/erv.2448

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Cebolla A, Barrada JR, van Strien T et al (2014) Validation of the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) in a sample of Spanish women. Appetite 73:58–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.APPET.2013.10.014

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Muthén LK, Muthén BO (2007) Mplus user’s guide, 6th edn. University of California, Los Angeles

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Kline RB (2015) Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. Guilford, New York

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    MacCallum RC, Browne MW, Sugawara HM (1996) Power analysis and determination of sample size for covariance structure modeling. Psychol Methods 1:130–149

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Steiger JH (2007) Understanding the limitations of global fit assessment in structural equation modeling. Personal Individ Differ 42:893–898

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Hu LT, Bentler PM (1999) Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Struct Equ Model 6:1–55

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Revelle W, Zinbarg RE (2009) Coefficients alpha, beta, omega, and the glb: comments on Sijtsma. Psychometrika 74:145

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Alberti K, Eckel RH, Grundy SM et al (2009) Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome a joint interim statement of the international diabetes federation task force on epidemiology and prevention for the study of obesity. Circulation 120:1640–1645. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192644

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Tanaka JS (1993) Multifaceted conceptions of fit in structural equation models. In: Bollen KA, Long JS (eds) Testing structural equation models. Sage, Newbury Park, pp 10–39

    Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Steiger JH, Lind C (1980) Statistically based tests for the number of common factors. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Psychometric Society, Iowa City, IA

  38. 38.

    Thompson MS, Green SB (2006) Evaluating between-group differences in latent variable means. In: Hancock GR, Mueller RO (eds) Structural equation modeling: a second course. Information Age Publishing, Greenwich, CT

    Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Van de Schoot R, Lugtig P, Hox J (2012) A checklist for testing measurement invariance. Eur J Dev Psychol 9:486–492. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2012.686740

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Little TD (1997) Mean and covariance structures (MACS) analyses of cross-cultural data: practical and theoretical issues. Multivar Behav Res 32:53–76. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327906mbr3201_3

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Cheung GW, Rensvold RB (2002) Evaluating goodness-of-fit indexes for testing measurement invariance. Struct Equ Model 9:233–255. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15328007SEM0902_5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Millsap RE, Olivera-Aguilar M (2012) Investigating measurement invariance using confirmatory factor analysis. In: Hoyle IRH (ed) Handbook of structural equation modeling. The Guildford Press, New York, pp 380–392

    Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Baños RM, Cebolla A, Moragrega I, Van Strien T et al (2014) Relationship between eating styles and temperament in an Anorexia nervosa, healthy control, and morbid obesity female sample. Appetite 76:76–83

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Lauzon-Guillain B, Basdevant A, Romon M, Karlsson J, Borys JM, Charles MA (2006) The FLVS Study Group: is restrained eating a risk factor for weight gain in a general population? Am J Clin Nutr 83:132–138. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/83.1.132

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Ravaja N, Keltikangas-Järvinen L, Viikari J (1996) Life changes, locus of control and metabolic syndrome precursors in adolescents and young adults: a three-year follow-up. Soc Sci Med 43:51–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/0277-9536(95)00333-9

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Brown AJ, Thaker PH, Sun CC et al (2017) Nothing left to chance? The impact of locus of control on physical and mental quality of life in terminal cancer patients. Support Care Cancer 25:1985–1991. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-017-3605-z

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    Grimm ER, Steinle NI (2011) Genetics of eating behavior: established and emerging concepts. Nutr Rev 69:52–60. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00361.x

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    Richardson A, Field T, Newton R, Bendell D (2012) Locus of control and prenatal depression. Infant Behav Dev 35:662–668. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.INFBEH.2012.07.006

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    Omani Samani R, Maroufizadeh S, Navid B, Amini P (2017) Locus of control, anxiety, and depression in infertile patients. Psychol Health Med 22:44–50. https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2016.1231923

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Archer RP (1979) Relationships between locus of control and anxiety. J Personal Assess 43:617–626. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327752jpa4306_10

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    Holder EE, Levi DJ (1988) Mental health and locus of control: SCL-90-R and Levenson’s IPC Scales. J Clin Psychol 44:753–755. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-4679(198809)44:5%3c753:AID-JCLP2270440514%3e3.0.CO;2-A

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

CIBEROBN is an initiative of the ISCIII (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain). We thank the PREDIMEDPLUS Biobank Network, part of the National Biobank Platform of Instituto de Salud Carlos III for storing and managing biological samples. We thank to Research Council (Grant 340918) and PROMETEO Grant (17/2017) from the Generalitat Valenciana. The PREDIMED-Plus trial was supported by the official Spanish Institutions for funding scientific biomedical research, CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn) and Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), through the Fondo de Investigación para la Salud (FIS), which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (four coordinated FIS projects leaded by J.S.-S. and J.Vi., including the following projects: PI13/00673, PI13/00492, PI13/00272, PI13/01123, PI13/00462, PI13/00233, PI13/02184, PI13/00728, PI13/01090, PI13/01056, PI14/01722, PI14/00636, PI14/00618, PI14/00696, PI14/01206, PI14/01919, PI14/00853, PI14/01374, PI14/00972, PI14/00728, PI14/01471, PI16/00473, PI16/00662, PI16/01873, PI16/01094, PI16/00501, PI16/00533, PI16/00381, PI16/00366, PI16/01522, PI16/01120, PI17/00764, PI17/01183, PI17/00855, PI17/01347, PI17/00525, PI17/01827, PI17/00532, PI17/00215, PI17/01441, PI17/00508, PI17/01732, and PI17/00926), the Especial Action Project entitled: Implementación y evaluación de una intervención intensiva sobre la actividad física Cohorte PREDIMED-Plus grant to J.S.-S., the European Research Council (Advanced Research Grant 2013–2018, 340918) to M.Á.M.-G., the Recercaixa grant to J.S.-S. (2013ACUP00194), grants from the Consejería de Salud de la Junta de Andalucía (PI0458/2013, PS0358/2016, and PI0137/2018), a grant from the Generalitat Valenciana (PROMETEO/2017/017), a SEMERGEN grant, and funds from the European Regional Development Fund (CB06/03).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. Baños.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol and procedures were approved according to the ethical standards of the Declaration of Helsinki by the Research Ethics Committees from all the participating institutions.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Cebolla, A., Botella, C., Galiana, L. et al. Psychometric properties of the Weight Locus of Control Scale (MWLCS): study with Spanish individuals of different anthropometric nutritional status. Eat Weight Disord 25, 1533–1542 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-019-00788-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • Locus of control
  • Obesity
  • Health
  • Weight
  • Multidimensional weight locus of control scale