Developmental Analysis of Self-Efficacy
The exercise of personal agency over the direction one's life takes varies depending on the nature and modifiability of the environment. Operative environments take three different forms: those that are imposed, selected, and created.
- imposed - individuals have no control over its presence, but they have leeway in how they construe it and react
- selected - which part of the potential environment becomes the actual environment that is experienced depends
on how people behave (William James - "my experience is what I agree to attend to").
- created - people create social systems that enable them to exercise greater control over their lives.
ORIGINS OF A SENSE OF PERSONAL AGENCY
- newborns arrive without a sense of self.
- Recognition That Actions Produce Outcomes
- realization of personal agency requires both self-observation that outcomes flow from actions and recognition that the actions are part of oneself.
- Recognition and Differentiation of the Self.
- infants acquire a sense of personal agency when they recognize that they can make things happen and they
regard themselves as the doers.
- understanding language accelerates self-recognition and development of self-awareness of personal agency.
FAMILIAL SOURCES OF SELF-EFFICACY
- Early Mastery Experiences and Social and Cognitive Development
- the initial efficacy experiences are centered in the family
- Development of Self-appraisal Skills
- people judge their capabilities partly through social comparison with the performance of others
- with development, children become increasingly discriminative in their use of comparative efficacy information
- it is the attainments of others similar to themselves that are most predictive of children's own operative capabilities
- Surmounting Childhood Adversity - resilience
- a sense of personal control over one's life circumstances is a key factor in resilience
PEERS AND THE BROADENING AND VALIDATION OF SELF-EFFICACY
- children tend to choose close associates who share similar interests and values.
- developmental psychology has been moving away from studying individual differences in global decontextualized traits to studying individual differences in cognitive processes regulating behavioral proclivities in different types of social situations.
- when parents try to get children to behave by coercive, punitive means, the result is escalating power struggles in which about half the time the parents reinforce the child's coercive behavior by giving in and the other hand the parents' coercive behavior pays off because the child eventually gives up.
- antisocial peers model, teach, and reward delinquent behavior.
SCHOOL AS AN AGENCY FOR CULTIVATING SELF-EFFICACY
- a fundamental goal of education is to equip students with self-regulatory capabilities that enable them to educate themselves.
- a high sense of self-regulatory efficacy contributes to mastery of academic subject matter by building a sense of cognitive efficacy and raising academic aspirations in those domains.
- inefficacy feeds on itself.
- there are a number of school practices that, for the less talented or ill-prepared, tend to convert instructional experiences into education in inefficacy.
- once established, reputations are not easily changed.
- in competitive systems, the successes of skilled members spell failures for the less able. Victors enhance their self-appraisal. Losers suffer self-devaluation.
- educational practices should be gauged not only by the skills and knowledge they impart for present use but also by what they do to children's beliefs about their capabilities, which affects how they approach the future.
GROWTH OF SELF-EFFICACY THROUGH TRANSITIONAL EXPERIENCES OF ADOLESCENCE
- society does not provide meaningful roles for adolescents.
- adolescence has often been characterized as a period of psychosocial turmoil. While no period of life is ever free of problems, contrary to the stereotype of "storm and stress," most adolescents negotiate the important transitions of this period without undue disturbance or discord.
- Most of our theories of human behavior greatly overpredict the incidence of psychosocial pathology under adversity
- individuals play a proactive role in their adaptation rather than simply undergoing happenings in which environments act upon their personal endowments.
- adolescents move from a personalized school environment of familiar peers to an impersonal, departmentalized one with curricular tracking into college prep, general, or vocational paths.
- girls get depressed by a low sense of academic efficacy regardless of how well they are doing in school.
- Management of Sexuality
- the direct impact of perceived social inefficacy on depression is stronger for girls than for boys. Thus, girls get depressed over a low sense of efficacy in more aspects of their lives that impinge more heavily on interpersonal relations than do boys.
- teenagers in our society are more sexually ignorant and are getting pregnant at higher rates than in other societies that address the informational, attitudinal, and interpersonal aspects of sexual development openly and provide ready access to contraceptive services.
- managing sexuality involves managing interpersonal relationships. Thus, sexual risk reduction calls for enhancing interpersonal efficacy rather than simply targeting a specific behavior for change.
- the weaker the perceived self-efficacy to exercise personal control, the more such social and affective factors can increase the likelihood of early or risky sexual behavior.
- antecedent phase - entanglement phase
- favorable attitudes toward contraceptives increases intentions to use them, but efficacy beliefs determine whether those intentions are put into practice.
- simply imparting sexual information without developing the self-regulative skills and sense of efficacy needed to exercise personal control over sexual relationships has little impact on patterns of sexual behavior.
- Management of High-Risk Activities
- whether adolescents forsake risky activities or become chronically enmeshed in them is determined, in large part, by the interplay of personal competencies, self-regulatory capabilities, and the nature of the prevailing social influences in their lives.
- efficacy beliefs influence the range of career options seriously considered, the degree of preparation for them, and the vocational paths that are likely to be pursued.
SELF-EFFICACY CONCERNS OF ADULTHOOD
- those who enter adulthood poorly equipped with skills and plagued by nagging doubts about their capabilities find many aspects of their adult life aversive, full of hardships, and depressing
- Fulfillment of Occupational Roles
- quality of school performance does not affect the entry-level jobs students get or their wages, so there is little incentive to master basic academic skills. A system in which educational effort and accomplishment do not bring better jobs and pay strips teachers of their instructional influence and breeds student apathy by providing little incentive for learning.
- by making levels of academic performance inconsequential, business hiring practices partly contribute to the poor quality of high school graduates about whom employers complain.
- in preparing youth for the world of work, the development of self-management skills is crucial.
- increasing automation of the more technical aspects of work is placing heavier weight on versatile cognitive and self-management skills that can be used flexibly to fulfill rapidly changing occupational roles and demands. These higher order skills enable individuals to master changing technologies throughout their vocational careers. Therefore, in preparing students for the occupational roles of the future, instructional systems must cultivate generic cognitive skills as well as specialized technical skills.
- beliefs about one's capabilities are influential determinants of vocational life paths.
- the interpersonal problems that people experience in their every lives often intrude on their work. Guided mastery programs that teach employees the skills needed to manage social problems at home and at work, control substance abuse, and raise self-motivation produce lasting increases in perceived self-regulatory efficacy.
- Michigan Institute for Social Efforts - resilience training.
- Fulfillment of Family Roles
- perceived parenting efficacy plays a key role in adaptation to parenthood.
- mothers who have a strong belief in their care-giving capabilities experience more positive emotional well-being, closer attachment to their baby, and better adjustment to the parenting role during the postpartum phase.
- a strong sense of parental efficacy yields dividends in the emotional well-being of mothers raising children who present special difficulties.
- it is not workloads per se but the degree to which one can exercise control over them that largely determines the effects.
- women's beliefs in their efficacy to combine occupational and familial responsibilities may shape their career choices and development.
- objective economic hardship, by itself, has no direct influence on parents' perceived self-efficacy.
- for single parents, financial strain weakens parents' sense of efficacy both directly and indirectly by creating feelings of despondency.
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