Academic Self Efficacy

Academic self-efficacy refers to an individual's belief (conviction) that they can successfully achieve at a designated level on an academic task or attain a specific academic goal (Bandura, 1997; Eccles & Wigfield, 2002; Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002a).

Research suggests that having high self-efficacy when attempting difficult tasks creates feelings of calmness or serenity while low self-efficacy may result in a student perceiving a task as more difficult than reality, which, in turn, may create anxiety, stress and a narrower idea on how best to approach the solving of a problem or activity (Downey, Eccles, & Chatman, 2005).  

Furthermore, self- efficacy is believed to be situational in nature rather than being viewed as a stable trait (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002a).  Lastly, self-efficacy is a task-specific evaluation and should not be confused with self-esteem or self-concept, which reflect more general affective evaluations of self (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002a). 

By ChildTrends


Sources Cited

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York:W. H. Freeman.

Downey, Geraldine, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, and Celina Chatman. (2005). Navigating the future: social identity, coping, and life tasks. New York: Russell Sage. 2005.

Eccles, Jacquelynne S and Wigfield, Allan Wigfield. (2002).  Motivational beliefs, values, and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 53 (1), DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135153

Linnenbrink, E. A., & Pintrich, P. R. (2002a). Motivation as an enabler for academic success. School Psychology Review, 31(3), 313-327.