Work-related, socio-cultural, and personal factors associated with locus of control among Australian general practitioners

Daya Ram Parajuli, Shahid Ullah, Matthew McGrail, McLachlan Craig, Vivian Isaac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Locus of control (LoC) is a social cognition, that relates to the level of self-control that people have over their personal environment that influences their life. In this context, LoC is frequently associated with work-related behavioral outcomes, ranging from job attitudes, career behaviors, stress, and burnout.

To investigate the association between LoC, and work-related behavioral factors, socio-cultural factors, and personal factors among Australian General Practitioners (GPs).

This study utilized data from the 2010 Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey of doctors. Locus of control (LoC) was measured by a 7-point Likert scale based on Pearlin-Schooler Mastery/Self-efficacy 7-item Scale. Higher score indicated lower internal LoC. Multivariate linear regression model was performed to determine the independent predictors of LoC.

Of 3,664 GP participants, LoC did not differ by gender. Poor/fair self-rated health, working in urban location, running a stressful practice, poor balance of professional and personal commitments, poor support network, financial circumstances after retirement, and perception of unrealistic expectation by patients were significant predictors for a lower Internal LoC in a multivariate linear regression model. Adjusted R2 explained 22.4% of variation in predicting the LoC in our models.

LoC of Australian GPs is negatively affected by poor work-life balance, inadequate support, and unrealistic patient expectation. These work-place specific factors could be targeted by interventions to improve GPs wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-595
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Locus of control (LOC)
  • General practitioners
  • Work-life balance
  • Australia


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