Journal Article

Locus of Control, Coping and Proto Prevention in Child and Family Care

Michael Sheppard and Graham Crocker

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 38, issue 2, pages 308-321
Published in print February 2008 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Locus of Control, Coping and Proto Prevention in Child and Family Care

Show Summary Details


Despite a sustained emphasis that appropriate responses are made to children and families in need, recent policy documents express a concern about the high thresholds for receipt of children’s services preventing many high-need families from accessing help. Where this is the case, families are liable to have to fall back on their own resources. This raises the question: how do these families, particularly mothers (frequently the primary care-givers), cope? Locus of Control (LoC) has been shown to be a significant factor in the confidence, and capacity, of individuals to respond to their external environment. This article focuses on applicants for children’s services who did not meet the thresholds for service receipt, focusing on their coping strategies in the light of the LoC of the women. The findings show that LoC did have an impact on coping strategies, and, in particular, points to the greater likelihood of avoidance strategies in those with an external LoC and of stress undermining Active Coping by those with internal LoC, in the absence of services. These are discussed in the light of prevention, recently conceptually extended to include activities by the families, as well as the provision of services.

Keywords: prevention; childcare; parenting; mothers’ coping

Journal Article.  5808 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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