Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Marianna Footo-Linz

Second Advisor

Pamela L. Mulder

Third Advisor

Stuart Thomas

Fourth Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


The influence of parental attitudes on a child’s extent of control over chronic illness was studied across both urban and rural populations. It was hypothesized that a child would perceive an internal locus of control if the parental attitude promoted self-efficacy and independence. Secondly, it was hypothesized that a child would utilize an external locus of control if the parental attitude promoted dependence on the environment. Finally, it was hypothesized that a comparison between rural and urban population perceptions of treatment and care for chronic illnesses would yield a greater internal locus of control for both parent and child within the urban field due to the accessibility of treatments and physicians. Twenty rural parent/child pairs and twenty urban parent/child pairs were given questionnaires upon arrival at their physician’s office. The parents) and child were asked to complete separate portions of the questionnaire. The study’s results suggest that parental control perceptions are not significant predictors of the control perceptions of their chronically ill children. Furthermore, the rural versus urban settings are not related to control perceptions. Several aspects of a child’s environment can have an impact on his or her perceptions. Psychologists and physicians can offer constructive support once specific influences on the children’s’ perceptions are discovered that may improve coping strategies as well as the child’s adherence to medical regimen and treatments.


Chronic diseases – Psychological aspects.

Chronically ill children.