Women’s perceived internal control of future pregnancy outcomes and its related factors

Azam Maleki, Saeideh Mazloomzadeh


Background and Purpose: With regards to the importance of women’s beliefs in improving pregnancy outcomes, this study was performed to determine the perceived internal control on future pregnancy outcomes and its related factors in women who participated in pre‑marital counseling.

Materials and Methods: In a cross‑sectional study, women’s perceived internal control was investigated. The study population comprised the women in reproductive age of whom 400 were selected by random sampling. Data collection instrument was a questionnaire consisting of demographic, pre‑conceptional care, and internal control questions. Two categories of favorite and not favorite levels of internal control were defined based on the total score. The validity of the questionnaire was determined via content validity method by use of experts’ opinion and its reliability was evaluated through the calculation of Cronbach’s alpha coefficient which was 0.76. Data were analyzed through frequency tables, correlation coefficient, and Chi‑square test at the confidence level of 0.95.

Results: Two hundred sixty‑five (65%) women had a good perceived internal control and it was significantly associated with the age, educational level, and hearing about pre‑conceptional care. The internal control score also showed a positive and significant correlation with both age and the subject knowledge about folic acid (r = 0.19 and r = 0.15, respectively).

Conclusion: The majority of women had a favorite perceived internal control. Since age and educational level were the affecting factors on the perceived internal control of women, promoting the level of internal control in young women and those with low education in pre‑marital counseling classes seems necessary.

Key words: Iran, locus of control, marriage, pregnancy outcomes

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