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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.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Novelty-seeking personality traits are a major risk factor for the development of drug abuse and other unsafe behaviors. Rodent models of temperament indicate that high novelty responding is associated with decreased inhibitory autoreceptor control of midbrain dopamine neurons. It has been speculated that individual differences in dopamine functioning also underlie the personality trait of novelty seeking in humans. However, differences in the dopamine system of rodents and humans, as well as the methods for assessing novelty responding/seeking across species leave unclear to what extent the animal models inform our understanding of human personality. In the present study we examined the correlation between novelty-seeking traits in humans and D(2)-like (D(2)/D(3)) receptor availability in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area. Based on the rodent literature we predicted that novelty seeking would be characterized by lowered levels of D(2)-like (auto)receptor availability in the midbrain. Thirty-four healthy adults (18 men, 16 women) completed the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire-Novelty-Seeking Scale and PET scanning with the D(2)/D(3) ligand [(18)F]fallypride. Novelty-Seeking personality traits were inversely associated with D(2)-like receptor availability in the ventral midbrain, an effect that remained significant after controlling for age. We speculate that the lower midbrain (auto)receptor availability seen in high novelty seekers leads to accentuated dopaminergic responses to novelty and other conditions that induce dopamine release.
To determine the relationship between Type A behavior pattern and angiographically documented coronary atherosclerosis (CAD), we analyzed risk factor, behavioral, and angiographic data collected on 2,289 patients undergoing diagnostic coronary angiography at Duke University Medical Center between 1974 and 1980. Multivariable analyses using ordinal logistic regression techniques showed that Type A behavior as assessed by the structured interview (SI) is significantly associated with CAD severity after age, sex, hyperlipidemia, smoking, hypertension, and their various significant interactions were controlled for. This relationship, however, is dependent upon age. Among patients aged 45 or younger, Type A's had more severe CAD than did Type B's; among patients aged 46-54, CAD severity was similar between Type A's and B's; and among patients 55 and older, there was a trend toward more severe CAD among Type B's than among Type A's. These Type A-CAD relationships did not appear to be the result of various factors relating to the selection of patients for angiography. Type A behavior as assessed by the Jenkins Activity Survey was unrelated to CAD severity. These findings suggest that SI-determined Type A behavior is associated with more severe CAD among younger patients referred for diagnostic coronary angiography. The reversal of the Type A-CAD relationship among older patients may be due to survival effects. Inadequate sample sizes, use of assessment tools other than the SI, and failure to consider the Type A by age interaction could account for failures to find a Type A-CAD relationship in other studies. We conclude that the present findings are consistent with the hypothesis that Type A behavior is involved in the pathogenesis of CAD, but only in younger age groups. The Type A effect in the present data is small relative to that of both smoking and hyperlipidemia, however, and future research should focus more specifically on the hostility and anger components of Type A behavior, particularly in younger samples.