Lori Lincoln, RN, BSN
Theoretical Foundations of Practice NUR/513
Dr. Sharon Pontious
University of Phoenix
May 19, 2005
The Concept of Self-Efficacy
Self-efficacy, for the purpose of this study, may be defined as a person's optimistic self-belief. This is the belief that a person can develop the skills to perform new or difficult tasks to cope with changes in health and functioning. When a person perceives self-efficacy, it will facilitate goal-setting, effort, investment, persistence, overcoming obstacles and recovery from disappointments and failures. It can be regarded as a positive outlook or proactive way to handle stress factors. It is the ability to successfully cope with health changes, and implies an internal and stable acceptance of changes and ability to successfully adapt to those changes. Perceived self-efficacy is functional in relationship to behavioral change, and health care maintenance or improvement. In health care, the concept of self-efficacy is important in developing effective strategies for health education and interventions.
Self-efficacy emerged from theories related to motivation, competence and a feeling of control. Rodgers' (1993) stated that the "evolutionary" method of concept analysis is used in clarifying the concept of interest. By following this approach, abstract characteristics of a concept can be identified and grouped for the purpose of developing a clear and useful definition of the concept. Once the concept is defined, a model case can be described to demonstrate the concepts attributes, antecedents, and consequence. A literary search and a grouping of characteristics will be used to process a constant comparative analysis and to refine the data into a clear and concise definition appropriate for our use.
The term effectance is used to describe the motivational aspect of competence. The theory of motivation is not solely based on the basic animal instinct of drive. People are motivated to behave in certain ways because they perceive themselves as being able to effect a desired change. As a persons behavior is repeated and actually effects the desired change a person is providing reinforcement of their confidence in their competence at effect the desired change. The person is energized by the concept of self-efficacy and it's feeling of empowerment. (White, 1959).
Empowerment and control are essential to elements to self-efficacy. According to Bandura, early social learning theory of behavioral change, cognitive processing determines the behavior change and cognitive events are started or changed by the experience of competency. Bandura focused on perceived self-efficacy, which he defines as a belief in one's own capability to organize and execute the course of action required to attain a goal. (Bandura, 1977).
Health related research was stimulated by the social learning theory. Research showed that persons perceived level and strength of self-efficacy was closely related to their choices in health behaviors. (Maibach & Murphy, 1995). The desire to maintain new behaviors is usually related to the experience of success through self-efficacy and the mastery of new behaviors (O'Leary, 1985).
Efficacy is the behavior or being effective, efficacious and in control. The self can be defined as ones identity. This means that self-efficacy can be defined as the ability to effectively control their own outcomes by changing their actions. It is the self-regulation of behavior by intelligent, affective and motivational processes. Self-efficacy is made up by self-concept, control, and cognitive processes. Ones self-concept is their thoughts and feelings about who and what they are; it is influenced by social interactions and experiences. It has to do with an innate set of morals, values and attitudes that is developed through ones interaction with their environment. Self-regulation allows one to behave in a way...