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ABSTRACT

The choice of in-hospital or alternative birth environment was studied as a function of the concept of control. Personal and situational control variables were assessed, using the Multidimensional Health Locus-of-Control Scale and an attitude scale specific to issues of chioce in childbirth. A multivariate analysis demonstrated that a matched sample of choosers of both environments differed significantly on four of five dimensions studied. These findings point to a need for flexibility in hospital policies governing childbirth since individual freedom of choice is so important to some women and since alternative birthing services are still so rare.