The topic of self-efficacy is part of a broad literature which has developed around the issues of human agency, mastery, and control. Its more delimited focus is on perceptions and assessments of self with regard to competence, effectiveness, and causal agency. Self-efficacy has become an important variable within social psychological research because of its association with various favorable consequences, especially in the areas of physical and mental health. It is also quite congruent with the Western emphasis on such values as mastery, self-reliance, and achievement. This review examines the nature of self-efficacy and related terms, reviews the research literature on the development of self-efficacy and how social structure and group processes affect this development, considers changes of self-efficacy over the life course, and reviews the consequences of self-efficacy for individual functioning and for social change. The focus of the review is on the social psychological literature within sociology, psychology, and to some extent political science.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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