Locus of control and depression in students and psychiatric outpatients.
Examined the relationship among depression, locus of control of reinforcement, and age in 26 depressed, female, psychiatric outpatients, 26 nondepressed controls, and 55 undergraduate students (23 male, 32 female), of whom 18 were depressed. The mean age of the patients and controls was 40.2, and of the students 19.7. Depression (measured on the Beck Depression Inventory) and locus of control (measured on Rotter's Internal-External questionnaire) were correlated highly. Age was correlated negatively with locus of control scores and positively with depression. With age partialled out, the correlation between external locus of control and depression increased. The association between external locus of control is neither a single function of age nor a response to hospitalization because the depressed Ss in this study were outpatients. The possible causal relationship between external locus of control and depression is discussed.
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