The relationship between children's locus of control and their anticipatory anxiety

Ho Cheung William Li, Oi Kwan Joyce Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study investigated the relationship between children's locus of control and their state anxiety scores, and determined whether children's locus of control could predict their state anxiety scores before academic examinations. Design: A test-retest within subjects design was used. Sample: 519 school children were invited to participate in the study. Measurements: Participants were asked to respond to the Chinese version of the Nowicki-Strickland locus of control scale and state anxiety scale for children in stressful and nonstressful situations. The data were collected in 2005. Results: There were significant strong positive correlations between the state anxiety and locus of control scores in the period before academic examinations. Multiple regression analysis showed that the Nowicki-Strickland locus of control score was a good predictor of children's state anxiety in a stressful situation. Conclusions: This study supports the use of the Nowicki-Strickland locus of control scale as a screening tool to identify school children who are most likely to exhibit high levels of anxiety before academic examinations. Understanding children's locus of control in advance is a necessary step toward designing appropriate interventions to reduce their stress and bolster their coping mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic examination
  • Anxiety
  • Chinese children
  • Culture
  • Health
  • Locus of control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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