Self Efficacy: An International Literature Review

2009 – 2011 This project built on previous research undertaken in Kent which looked at the values and attitudes of young people that pre-determine their life choices.

The research further explored the rationale that certain young people seem to be more susceptible to ‘risky’ behaviours like crime, drug abuse, anti-social behaviour, homelessness, poor health, benefit dependency and teenage pregnancy. These, in turn, seem to correspond with low levels of self efficacy, which is defined as ‘people’s belief about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives’.

The project’s objectives were to:

  • Better understand how to increase young people’s self-efficacy as part of their journey through life.
  • Explore interventions that are preventative rather than ones that just treat the symptoms.
  • Address the lack of information on self-efficacy by conducting an International Literature Review on the subject.
  • Inform strategists and policy makers so they can commission more effective services for young people.

Perceived self-efficacy is defined as people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. Self efficacy beliefs determine how people feel, think, motivate themselves and behave.

The work of Bandura gives a comprehensive explanation of why ‘self efficacy’ is so important and how self efficacy is developed through a young person’s lifecycle, or not, as the case may be.