• birth;
  • patient satisfaction;
  • health beliefs;
  • personal control;
  • instrument development and validation


No current instrument assesses women's health locus of control beliefs in relation to childbirth. Form C of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scales was used to develop items for a new instrument specific to labor and delivery (MHLC-LD). Psychometric analyses conducted with two independent samples of pregnant women supported a three-factor model of the new instrument, consisting of Internal, Powerful Others, and Chance subscales. Results revealed modest coefficient alphas (>.70) for the subscales and demonstrated construct validity in known group analyses. Future validation research will focus on improving the internal consistency reliability of the MHLC-LD, testing factorial invariance across demographic groups, and examining the relationships between obstetric risk, previous birth experiences, and beliefs about control over childbirth outcomes. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:282–296, 2011