Determinants of self-efficacy beliefs among inner-city youth : a study of efficacy development in community context

Chin, Dorothy
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This study investigates the behavioral and social determinants of self-efficacy beliefs among Hispanic youth living in inner-city Los Angeles. Specifically, three proximal predictors (previous performance; vicarious experience; social persuasion), based on Bandura's (1982) theory of efficacy development, and two distal predictors (neighborhood resources; neighborhood safety) were hypothesized to influence self-efficacy beliefs regarding future educational and occupational attainment.. Additionally, neighborhood resources and neighborhood safety were hypothesized to influence participation in extra-curricular activities, an indicator for previous performance. Results showed that self-efficacy beliefs about educational and occupational attainment were most strongly influenced by social persuasion. Specifically, higher perceived expectations of parents and peers were related to higher levels of efficacy. Previous academic performance, when indicated by most recent reading score, significantly predicted educational efficacy but not occupational efficacy. Greater neighborhood resources and neighborhood danger were found to be associated with increased participation in academic, social, and physical activities among inner-city youth. These findings point to the importance of a social environment that provides inner-city youth with positive messages and opportunities for success. Children who receive more positive feedback about their future and who experience greater degrees of previous success are more likely to develop and maintain high self-efficacy beliefs. Neighborhood factors appear to influence participation in extra-curricular activities, but the low amount of variance accounted for in participation indicates the presence of other influences yet to be elucidated.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1994.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 114-121)
121 leaves, bound ill. 29 cm
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