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Self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, adjustment, and academic performance.

The American Counseling Association's (2005) ACA Code of Ethics calls on counselors to "encourage client growth and development" (p. 4). Since the origin of the profession, counselors have facilitated client development by assisting clients in establishing and attaining vocational and educational goals. Counselors have traditionally developed and used theoretically and research-based assessment measures and counseling approaches to help clients identify their abilities and develop a sense of self-efficacy. Counselors frequently build on clients' self-beliefs to promote healthy adjustment and performance in a variety of areas, including school and work.

Notwithstanding the existing theory and research on people's beliefs about their abilities, adjustment, and performance, there is no known research that examines the association between and among these concepts. To fill that gap, the present study examined the association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities, two forms of self-beliefs widely studied and applied in counseling, in conjunction with two key outcome measures of particular interest to counselors: college students' adjustment and academic performance.

The construct of self-efficacy, derived from social-cognitive theory (Bandura, 1977, 1997), applied to career theory (Hackett & Betz, 1981), and extended by social-cognitive career theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994), is founded on Bandura's (1977, 1997, 2001) argument that agency, or people's beliefs in their ability to exercise control over their own lives, is quintessentially human. According to social-cognitive theory, when people believe that they have the ability to act and that their actions will produce the desired outcomes, they are more motivated to act, and to act in ways that are more likely to produce the desired outcome, than when they do not believe that their efforts will be successful. Within this theoretical context, self-efficacy, defined as an individual's belief that he or she is able to accomplish a task or reach a future goal (Bandura, 1977, 1997; Lent et al., 1994), is considered a primary determinant of people's interests, choices, actions, behavior, and performance (Bandura, 1977, 1997; Lent et al., 1994).

Self-efficacy is a relatively new yet popular construct with a large body of empirical support (Gore, 2006). Relevant to the present study, self-efficacy is empirically associated with adjustment (Chemers, Hu, & Garcia, 2001; Ramos-Sanchez & Nichols, 2007) and college students' grades in specific domains, particularly science, mathematics, and engineering (S. D. Brown, Lent, & Larkin, 1989; Hackett, Betz, Casas, & Rocha-Singh, 1992; Lent, Brown, & Larkin, 1984, 1986). Recently, in the only known study to examine the association between self-efficacy and the overall academic performance of liberal arts students, Gore (2006) found that end-of-semester self-efficacy contributed significantly to the variance beyond American College Testing (ACT) scores to a sample of European American college students' first- and second-semester cumulative grade point averages (GPAs).

In contrast with self-efficacy, the construct of self-rated abilities has been used in career assessment since Parsons (1909) yet has received little theoretical or empirical attention (see Swanson & Gore, 2000, for a historical review). Founded on the premise that people make and maintain vocational choices that are consistent or congruent with their interests and perceived abilities (Holland, 1971; Spokane & Holland, 1995), self-rated abilities, defined as an individual's belief that he or she can accomplish a task or reach a current goal (Holland, 1997; Lowman & Williams, 1987), are essential to the popular notion of fit, the trait-factor, and person-environment career theories (Holland, 1971, 1997). In addition, two of the most widely used career interest inventories used in counseling, the Self-Directed Search (SDS) and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII), include self-rating subscales that affect individual results (Betz, 1999; Holland, 1997).

The limited research on self-rated abilities is summarized in three meta-analyses (Ackerman & Wolman, 2007; Lowman & Williams, 1987; Mabe & West, 1982) that show a moderate correlation between self-rated abilities and objective measures ranging from supervisor ratings to standardized instruments including the Raven's Progressive Matrices and Wechsler

Adult Intelligence Scale--Revised subtests. More specific to the present study, recent archival research provides evidence that self-rated abilities influence adjustment, which in turn influences academic performance (Harms, Roberts, & Winter, 2006). Furthermore, in the only known study of liberal arts students' self-rated abilities and college academic performance, self-rated academic abilities and adjustment accounted for more variance than other attitudinal factors to the cumulative GPAs of a sample of 1st-year European American residential students (Zheng, Saunders, Shelley, & Whalen, 2002).

Although self-efficacy and self-rated abilities developed within separate theoretical frameworks, they have some important conceptual and theoretical similarities. These similarities include their shared conceptualization as self-beliefs that individuals have about their abilities. Both forms of self-beliefs are posited to develop through dynamic interaction between people's work personalities and their objective and subjective response to the environment. In addition, both self-efficacy and self-rated abilities are independently associated, both theoretically and empirically, with a number of important counseling and career outcomes, including adjustment (Bandura, 1997; Holland, 1997) and academic performance (Gore, 2006; Zheng et al., 2002).

In the only known published study considering the association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities, S. D. Brown, Lent, and Gore (2000) used confirmatory factor analysis to test whether self-efficacy and self-rated abilities represented one or two latent constructs. The results supported a two-factor model with a .53 mean intercorrelation between self-efficacy and self-rated ability items, suggesting that self-efficacy and self-rated abilities represent two empirically distinct yet complementary constructs in association with career interests and perceived options. The present study builds on and extends S. D. Brown et al.'s (2000) work by examining the association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities in association with college students' adjustment and performance. Adjustment, conceptualized as the harmonious interactive relationship between people and their environment, is a key variable in understanding college and career persistence and success. According to both Holland's (1997) vocational development theory and Tinto's (1993) and other college student development theories, people fit or positively interact within environments made up of people who have similar interests and self-rated abilities. Furthermore, theory that posits that neutral environments are biased in favor of the dominant group (Betz, 1989, 2002; Freeman, 1979), and research showing that adjustment to college and career settings is more challenging for people from groups who are underrepresented in higher education (Sedlacek, 2004), suggest that a study of adjustment and related constructs with a diverse sample would contribute to the counseling literature. Adjustment is also important to consider in light of the theoretical and empirical association between adjustment and college students' academic performance.

College students' academic performance, conceptualized as an outcome measure (Bandura, 1997) that encompasses students' performance in the academic, personal, and social domains of college (Astin, 1999; Solberg, O'Brien, Villareal, Kennel, & Davis, 1993; Tinto, 1993), is another important construct to consider in association with self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment. As an early career phase (Lent et al., 1994), college students' academic performance demonstrates a level of competence and sustained effort that parallels expectations in many career paths. However, although some level of college access is now nearly universal (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2005), more than 40% of the people who begin a 4-year degree leave before completing their intended degree (NCES, 2005). Completion rates are even lower for people who are underrepresented in higher education and the professions. Sixty-two percent of enrolled European American students finish college compared with 44% of Latino college students and 43% of their African American peers (NCES, 2005). Fewer than 10% of those with family incomes in the lowest quartile complete 4-year degrees (NCES, 2005). Despite near universal concern about college students' completion rates and targeted concern about the performance and graduation of underrepresented people, no known study has yet examined the association between self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, adjustment, and the overall academic performance of college students with majors in the liberal arts.

The purpose of this study was to assess the level of association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities in conjunction with adjustment and academic performance using theoretically consistent measures with a diverse sample of college students with majors in the liberal arts. We expected that the results would add to the counseling research on self-efficacy, extend the limited research on self-rated abilities, and contribute to the professional understanding of college students' adjustment and performance. The results were also expected to inform practice in counseling in general and educational, college, and career counseling in particular.

On the basis of theory and research, the present study tested the following five hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1: There will be a significant positive association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities.

Hypothesis 2: There will be a positive association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities and college students' adjustment.

Hypothesis 3: There will be a positive association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities and college students' academic performance.

Hypothesis 4: Self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment will be positively associated with college students' academic performance.

Hypothesis 5: Self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment will be positively associated with college students' academic performance, above and beyond prior academic performance.

* Method

Participants

Two hundred seventy-five full-time undergraduate college students composed the initial sample for this study. Three participants' responses were withdrawn because of large blocks of missing data. One additional respondent's response was withdrawn after identification as a multivariate outlier. Because there was no literature-based rationale for estimating an effect size for this study, we could have settled on a medium effect size and a sample of 108, as per the guidelines set by Cohen (1992). However, as Maxwell (2000) and others explained, there are risks involved in simply estimating a priori effect size. Therefore, to control for the potential error inherent in setting an atheoretical and likely incorrect effect size, we used Maxwell's more conservative power estimate to determine sample size. The final sample size of 271 exceeded the minimum established to attain power of .80 at an alpha level of.01. In the subsequent results, we present only findings that were evident at the .01 level of significance to minimize the possibility of committing experiment-wise or Type I error. We limited participation to full-time college students, age 18 or older, majoring or considering a major in the liberal arts in order to extend the literature. We recruited a racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse sample from a range of targeted colleges and programs with diverse student bodies for this same reason.

One hundred seventy participants, representing 62.7% of the total, participated using the paper version of the study, whereas 101 participants, representing 37.3% of the total, completed the online version. Two hundred fifty-eight participants (95.2%) were enrolled in one of six different colleges in the New York metropolitan area. These six colleges are both independent and public, 2- and 4-year, and range in selectivity from an open admissions community college to "more selective" 4-year liberal arts colleges ("America's Best Colleges," 2008). Thirteen online participants (4.8%) reported enrollment at nine additional colleges. In total, participants reported enrollment in 15 different colleges.

Participants' ages ranged from 18 to 48, with a mean of 21.26 and a standard deviation of 5.02. One hundred sixty-eight participants identified as female (62%) and 103 (38%) as male. Seventy-seven participants (28.4%) identified as African American or Black, 22 (8.1%) as Asian American, 74 (27.3%) as Latino or Hispanic, 87 (32.1%) as European American or White, and 11 (4.1%) in other ways. Ninety participants (33.2%) reported their mother's highest level of formal education as less than or equal to a high school (HS) diploma. Fifty-eight participants (21.4%) reported that their mothers had "some college," and 97 (35.9%) reported that their mothers were college graduates. Similarly, 83 (30.6%) reported their father's highest level of formal education as less than or equal to a HS diploma. Thirty-three participants (12.2%) reported that their fathers had "some college," and 92 (33.9%) reported that their fathers were college graduates. Sixteen (5.9%) identified themselves as international students and eight (3%) as recent immigrants to the United States.

Measures

Participants who signed or clicked "yes" indicating their agreement with the request for informed consent and release of records were asked to complete an open-ended demographic questionnaire, developed for this study, as well as the following measures.

College Self-Efficacy Inventory (CSEI; Solberg et al., 1993). The CSEI was used to measure self-efficacy strength. It is a 22-item self-report instrument that assesses self-efficacy at the level of specificity most consistent with the broad-based multidimensional requirements for college students' success (Gore, 2006; Gore, Leuwerke, & Turley, 2006; Solberg et al., 1993). CSEI item scores are reported on a 10-point Likert-type scale, in which higher scores indicate higher levels of confidence in one's ability to complete a particular task. For example, respondents are asked to rate their belief in their ability to write a paper and meet with an academic advisor.

The CSEI has been reported to have internal reliability ratings of .92 to .93, respectively (Gore et al., 2006; Solberg et al., 1993), which is consistent with the Cronbach's alpha of .91 found with the present sample. Evidence supporting the convergent and discriminant validity of the CSEI has also been reported (Gore et al., 2006).

Self-Estimates subscale of the SDS (Holland, 1994). The Self-Estimates subscale of the SDS was used to measure self-rated ability strength. The subscale is one of the few standardized (Betz, 1999) and theoretically consistent (Holland, 1994) measures of self-rated abilities. The SDS Self-Estimates subscale asks respondents to rate themselves, in comparison with their same-age peers, in 12 broad areas ranging from mechanical to teaching ability (Holland, 1994). Scores on the Self-Estimates subscale of the SDS are reported on a 7-point Likert-type scale, in which higher scores represent stronger self-rated ability. Overall, SDS test-retest reliability has been reported at .90 to .94 and internal consistency has been reported as .94 to .96 (M. B. Brown, 2004).

The SDS subscales are reported to have the same structure as the SDS itself (Holland, Fritzsche, & Powell, 1997). SDS self-ratings scales have been shown to have concurrent validity with the Vocational Preference Inventory and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (Holland et al., 1997). There are no known reports of reliability or validity for the Self-Estimates subscale. For the present study, the internal consistency of the SDS Self-Estimates subscale, as measured by Cronbach's alpha, was found to be .80.

Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ; Baker & Siryk, 1984). The SACQ, a 67-item self-report instrument, was used to assess adjustment. Respondents are asked to indicate the degree to which statements such as "I have been keeping up to date on my academic work" and "I am meeting as many people and making as many friends as I would like" apply to them (Baker & Siryk, 1984, p. 181). Items on the SACQ are scored on a 9-point Likert scale, with higher scores indicating higher level of adjustment. Internal consistency for the SACQ is reported to range from .92 to .95 (Asher, 2004; Baker & Siryk, 1999) and with the current sample it was 93. Construct validity, established over time with diverse samples, suggests evidence of the predictive, concurrent, and construct validity of the SACQ (Baker & Siryk, 1999; Beyers & Goossens, 2002).

The cumulative GPA. Because college students' academic performance is of itself an outcome measure (Bandura, 1997), cumulative GPA was used to measure college students' academic performance. Academic performance in college requires the long-term strategic application of knowledge and skills in a variety of domains. As a result, no single exam or course grade reflects an individual's overall performance. In addition to GPA, HS average and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores were also collected from participants via the demographic questionnaire and participants' college records to use as a control for the influence of past academic performance.

Procedure

With appropriate permission, the first author worked with campus representatives to recruit participants. (Permission was obtained for Fordham University and other institutions that had internal review boards [IRBs]. For institutions that did not have IRBs, permission was granted by the individual or office authorized to give such permission.) She made presentations to student clubs and groups, set up and staffed tables in student unions and dining halls, sent e-mails to potential participants inviting them to participate, and posted the same on electronic messaging boards. This study was also made available as one of many options for students voluntarily participating in an online undergraduate psychology research pool. Full-time college students, age 18 or older, who gave informed consent and permission for their college to release their GPA, HS average, and SAT scores, were asked to report their GPA on the demographic questionnaire and complete the other measures described above in the order presented.

* Results

Demographic and descriptive statistics, including means, standard deviations, and intercorrelations, are presented in Table 1. Moderate yet significant intercorrelations, high tolerance (.56 to .97), and low variance inflation factor scores (1.03 to 1.54) indicated that multicollinearity was not a problem. Skewness and kurtosis statistics were also calculated, graphically examined, and found to be within a reasonably normal range. SAT scores were not included in the principal analysis because 141 of the 271 participants (52.02%) did not report numerical SAT scores.

The results show a significant positive association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities, as measured by the CSEI and SDS Self-Estimates subscale, r(269) = .57, p < .01. The significant positive correlation and large effect size (Cohen, 1988) found between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities, shown in Table 1, supports Hypothesis 1.

The results of the first simultaneous multiple regression analysis, calculating the effect of self-efficacy and self-rated abilities on adjustment, F(2, 26.088) = 45.59, p < .01, [R.sup.2] = .25, [R.sup.2.sub.adj] = .25, support Hypothesis 2 and are shown in Table 2. The results show that self-efficacy and self-rated abilities together account for 25% of the variance in college students' adjustment. This shows a positive association among the three variables, which are influenced, of course, by the strong positive association between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities reported earlier. More specifically, self-efficacy, [beta] = .47, t(270) = 7.3, p < .01, was found to be a significant predictor of adjustment, whereas self-rated abilities, [beta] = .06, t(270) = .85, p = .40, was not. In addition to comparing the beta coefficients as an indicator of the degree of association between the variables, the squared semipartial correlation coefficients indicate that the unique association between self-efficacy and adjustment is 14.4% ([r.sub.sp] = .38), whereas the unique association between self-rated abilities and adjustment is 1.6% ([r.sub.sp] = .04).

The results of the second, third, and fourth simultaneous multiple regression analyses in which the contributions of self-efficacy and self-rated abilities to college students' academic performance were assessed are found in Table 3. Overall, the results of the second regression analysis support Hypothesis 3 in finding that self-efficacy and self-rated abilities made a significant positive contribution to college students' academic performance, F(2, 228) = 9.61, p < .01, [R.sup.2] = .08, [R.sup.2.sub.adj] = .07. On an individual basis, neither self-rated abilities, [beta] = .20, t(230) = 2.59,p = .01, nor self-efficacy, [beta] =. 10, t(230) = 1.31, p = .19, was found to be a significant predictor of academic performance for this sample. The unique association between self-rated abilities and academic performance is 2.7% ([r.sub.sp] = .16), whereas the unique association between self-efficacy and academic performance is .64% ([r.sub.sp] = .08).

The results of the third simultaneous multiple regression, assessing the contributions of self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment to college student performance, were also significant, F(3,230) = 13.09, p < .01, [R.sup.2] = .15, [R.sup.2.sub.adj] = .14. A weighted combination of self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment was found to make a significant positive contribution to college students' academic performance. Adjustment, [beta] = .30, t(230) = 4.31, p < .01, was found to have a significant association with academic performance, whereas neither self-rated abilities, [beta] = .18, t(230) = 2.35,p = .02, nor self-efficacy, [beta] = -.03, t(230) = -.32,p = .75, was found to be significant at the .01 level. The unique association between adjustment and academic performance is 6.76% (r = .26), the unique association between self-rated abilities and academic performance is 1.96% ([r.sub.sp] = .14), and the unique association between self-efficacy and academic performance is .04% ([r.sub.sp] = -.02).

The final research question was assessed through a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. In Step 1, HS average was entered as the independent variable with GPA as dependent variable. This first step was not significant, F(1, 197) = 4.86, p = .03, [R.sup.2] = .02, [R.sup.2.sub.adj] = .02. In Step 2, total scores for the CSEI, SDS Self-Estimates subscale, and SACQ were entered simultaneously along with HS average with GPA remaining as the dependent variable. This final step, as well as the overall regression analysis, was significant, F(4, 197) = 10.37, p < .01, [R.sup.2] = 18, [R.sup.2.sub.adj] = 16. Overall, the [DELTA][R.sup.2] was .15.

The results of this regression analysis support Hypothesis 5 in finding that self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment made a significant positive contribution to college students' academic performance once prior academic performance was accounted for. More specifically, the results show that self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment together contributed 18% of the variance in college students' academic performance. The results also show that neither HS average, which contributed 2.4% of the variance in college students' academic performance, [beta] = .16, t(197) = 2.21, p = .07, nor SAT scores, r(122) =. 11,p = .06, both of which were used as a control for past academic performance, made a significant contribution to college students' academic performance for the subsample reporting scores in the present study.

With and without a control for past academic performance, adjustment, [beta] = .29, t(197) = 3.80,p < .01, was found to have a significant association with academic performance, whereas self-rated abilities, [beta] =. 19, t(197) = 2.32, p = .02, and self-efficacy, [beta] = -.01, t(197) = -.11, p = .90, were not. Consistent with the aforementioned results, the squared semipartial correlation coefficients indicate that the unique association between adjustment and academic performance is 6.25% ([r.sub.sp] = .25), the unique association between self-rated abilities and academic performance is 2.25% ([r.sub.sp] = .15), and the unique association between self-efficacy and academic performance is -.01% ([r.sub.sp] = -.01).

Supplemental analysis of variance results showed no significant differences in CSEI, SDS Self-Estimates subscale, or SACQ total score by form of participation (paper or online), semester or year of enrollment, gender, racial/ethnic identification, or parents' highest level of formal education. In addition, no significant differences were found between participants' self-report of their HS average and GPA and college records of the same.

* Discussion

The current results support S. D. Brown et al.'s (2000) report that self-efficacy and self-rated abilities are correlated yet distinct constructs. The .57 correlation found between self-efficacy and self-rated abilities is consistent with S. D. Brown et al.'s finding of a .53 mean intercorrelation between self-efficacy and self-rated ability items.

The results of this study also support the proposition that self-efficacy contributes to adjustment (Bandura, 1997; Lent et al., 1994; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2000). The finding that the association between self-efficacy and adjustment did not vary with the inclusion of self-rated abilities is further evidence of the strong positive association between self-efficacy and adjustment.

The significant positive correlation found between self-rated abilities and adjustment lends support to the theory positing that association. However, in combination with self-efficacy, the association between self-rated abilities and adjustment is practically eliminated. The findings show that self-efficacy, rather than self-rated abilities, contributes to adjustment, which suggests that self-efficacy rather than self-rated abilities, as has been posited, undergirds Holland's (1997) construct of congruence, scores on the SDS and SII, and the popular notion of fit.

The finding of an individual association between self-efficacy and academic performance is consistent with but lower in strength than the associations reported in prior studies. For example, Hackett et al. (1992) found correlations of .36 to .29 between academic self-efficacy and participants' spring and cumulative GPAs, whereas Chemers et al. (2001) found self-efficacy to be a significant direct predictor of academic performance (r = .34). Prior to this study, no known research has resulted in a quantitative indicator of the association between self-rated abilities and academic performance.

One possible explanation for the difference between the aforementioned associations reported and the results of the present study may be the operationalization of constructs, particularly the myriad ways academic performance has been operationalized in the literature. Another possible explanation is the difference in participant samples. S. D. Brown et al. (1989), Hackett et al. (1992), and Chemers et al. (2001) used a samples composed of 1st-year undergraduate students majoring in technical subjects, whereas this study extended the literature by considering the perspectives of a diverse sample of college students majoring in the liberal arts. It is also possible that different participant demographics--racial, ethnic, age, socioeconomic status, and residential or commuter status--influenced this comparison.

The results that show that HS average was not a statistically significant predictor of college academic performance, contributing only 2.4% of the variance in college GPA, is consistent with previous research. This small association, characterized by a standardized beta of .16, is consistent with Astin and Oseguera's (2005) large scale study (N = 48,277), finding that HS grades were the most significant predictors of college students' degree attainment they considered with betas of .15 and .16. With regard to the association between standardized admissions tests and college students' academic performance, the finding that SAT scores did not significantly contribute to GPA for the subsample reporting SAT scores in the present study contrasts with Gore's (2006) finding that ACT scores contributed between 56% to 70% of the variance in his sample's cumulative GPA. It is likely that the difference between the two findings can be explained by the difference in sample demographics and the predictive power of standardized admissions tests for various groups. The present study considered the experiences of a diverse sample of participants, whereas Gore's sample was predominantly (78%) White/ European American with an average age of 18.1. The results also suggest that self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment are broadly applicable constructs and lend support to Ackerman and Wolman's (2007) position that college students are good self-raters, particularly when they are assured anonymity and expect their self-reports to be verified.

* Implications

The current findings have implications for theory and practice in counseling. In terms of theory, the results show a significant positive association between the constructs that vary in different combinations. Proceeding with the assumption that these constructs rarely, if ever, operate in isolation, this study makes a contribution by quantifying the degree of direct association between the constructs. It also provides information about each construct's degree of association with the others in different combinations and suggests potential areas for theoretical convergence. Furthermore, the finding that there were no demographic differences in self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, or adjustment extends the literature and suggests that these constructs are broadly applicable.

From a practice perspective, counselors are encouraged to consider the influence of self-beliefs on adjustment and on academic and career planning and performance. In terms of planning, counselors are advised to consider the influence of self-beliefs, particularly self-efficacy, in the interpretation of SDS, SII, and other interest inventory or career assessment results. With regard to academic and career performance, the results provide further support for interventions such as learning communities, mentoring, group advisement, and peer support groups. Furthermore, the finding that a combination of self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, and adjustment predicted or explained significantly more of the variance in college students' academic performance than the HS GPA or SAT score did with a broadly diverse sample suggests that counselors' work to support students' and clients' optimal adjustment and self-belief development will promote improved academic performance and might contribute to solving the long-standing problem of college students' academic performance and retention.

There are several limitations to the current study. First, there is little scale-specific validity information available for the Self-Estimates subscale of the SDS. In addition, given that participants voluntarily agreed to participate, they, in effect, self-selected, which may have inflated the results; however, because the results of the bivariate correlations are comparable with previous research, this is not likely. Furthermore, although it was a deliberate decision not to restrict the sample by age or residency in order to get a more representative sample, the variance in age and residence may have also influenced results. We urge future researchers to consider the experiences of diverse student populations, the great majority of college students today.

Future research might test an implicit assumption in the theory and research on self-efficacy and self-rated abilities that higher is better. This might be done by implementing controlled studies (e.g., Betz, 1999) to examine the effect of interventions designed to strengthen participants' self-efficacy and self-rated abilities. Alternatively, researchers might consider if realistic self-ratings (e.g., Sedlacek, 2004) are more closely associated with adjustment and academic and career performance. Along these same lines, future researchers might respond to the question of optimal level, including the level at which experimentally increased self-efficacy might, as shown in laboratory studies (Vancouver, Thompson, Tischner, & Putka, 2002), begin to negatively affect adjustment or performance.

Future researchers might also consider an examination of the association between self-efficacy, self-rated abilities, adjustment, and career performance. For example, participants who were women had higher GPAs than did men in this study. However, given the considerable gains made by women in U.S. undergraduate colleges over the last 25 years and the continuing disparities in career achievement, particularly in the areas identified by Hackett and Betz (1981) that same 25 years ago, it is plausible that women find it easier to adjust to student roles rather than to career roles. Finally, future researchers might examine the association between college students' academic performance and career performance as well as the association between person--environment fit or congruence and other theorized predictors of performance. This study might also be replicated in different settings and with different populations.

Received 04/08/10

Revised 08/05/10

Accepted 11/23/10

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Peggy Bredy-Amoon and Jairo N. Fuertee, Division of Psychological and Educational Services, Fordham University. Peggy Brady-Amoon is now at Department of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy, Seton Hall University. Jairo N. Fuertes is now at The Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University. This study was conducted as part of Peggy Brady-Amoon's dissertation research at Fordham University under the supervision of Jairo N. Fuertes. Portions of this article were presented in a poster session at the 117th annual convention of the American Psychological Association in August 2009. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Peggy Brady-Amoon, Department of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy, Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079 (e-mail: margaret.brady-amoon@shu.edu).
TABLE 1
Intercorrelations, Means, and Standard
Deviations for the College Self-Efficacy
Inventory (CSEI), Self-Directed Search
Self-Estimates Subscale (SDS-SE), Student
Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACO),
Grade Point Average (GPA), and High
School (HS) Average

Item          1      2        3        4        5        M        SD

1. CSEI       --     .57 *    .50 *    .22 *    .06    126.96   23.96
2. SDS-SE            --       .32 *    .27 *   -.02     58.92   10.47
3. SACQ                       --       .35 *    .11    399.09   69.37
4. GPA                                 --       .16      3.02    0.59
5. HS                                           --       5.77    1.13
  average

Note. N = 271. Participants self-reported cumulative GPA.
Partici pants also self-reported HS average, which was coded on
a scale of 1-7, with 7 = 90+ or A.

* p < .01.

TABLE 2
Summary of Simultaneous Multiple Regression
Analysis for Variables Predicting Adjustment on
the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire

Variable                 B     SE B    [beta]   [R.sup.2]   [r.sub.sp]

College Self-          1.36     .19    .47 *                   .38
Efficacy Inventory

Self-Directed Search   0.36     .43    .06                     .04
Self Estimates
subscale

Model                                             .25 *

Note. N = 271.

* p < .01.

TABLE 3
Summary of Simultaneous Multiple Regression
Analysis for Variables Predicting Academic
Performance (Grade Point Average)

Variable       B       SE B    [beta]   [R.sup.2]    [r.sub.sp]

Regression 2 (N = 271)

CSEI           .01     .01      .10                      .08
SDS-SE         .01     .01      .20                      .16
Model                                     .08 *

Regression 3 (n = 232)

CSE1           .00     .00     -.03                     -.02
SDS-SE         .01     .00      .18                      .14
SACQ           .00     .00      .30 *                    .26
Model                                     .15 *

Regression 4 (n = 230)

Step 1
  HS average   .08     .04      .16                      .16
  Model                                   .02
Step 2
  HS average   .06     .04      .12                      .12
  CSEI         .00     .00     -.01                     -.01
  SDS-SE       .01     .00      .19                      .15
  SACQ         .00     .00      .29 *                    .25
  Model                                   .18 *

Note. CSEI = College Self-Efficacy Inventory; SDS-SE = Self-Directed
Search Self-Estimates subscale; SACQ = Student Adaptation to
College Questionnaire; HS average = high school average as
self-reported by participants and coded on a scale of 1-7, with
7 = 90 + or A.

* p < .01.
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Author:Brady-Amoon, Peggy; Fuertes, Jairo N.
Publication:Journal of Counseling and Development
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2011
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