Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. William Flora

Committee Members

Dr. Bethany Flora, Dr. Aimee Govett, Dr. Pamela Scott


The NAEP (2016) report shows that the performance of the country’s highest achievers is increasing in reading while the lowest-achieving students have lower scores than previous reports and are performing worse than ever. Not only are these students expected to succeed academically, these students must know how to problem solve, work in teams, and be creative. The longstanding issue of how to motivate students is not new. Motivation consists of the factors that stimulate the desire to attain a goal. Self-efficacy is defined as the belief in one's capabilities to carry out, organize and perform a task successfully (Bandura, 1997). Both are the driving forces that make people pursue a goal and overcome obstacles. Students with high senses of efficacy have the capacity to accept more challenging tasks, higher abilities to organize their time, increased persistence in the face of obstacles, exhibit lower anxiety levels, show flexibility in the use of learning strategies and have a high ability to adapt with different educational environments (Elmotaleb and Sahalof, 2013). High school students and entry-level college students are struggling to maintain the self-efficacy and motivation needed to accomplish rigorous and challenging tasks in both high school and college. This study addressed the deficiencies in the literature by providing an understanding of 10th grade students developmental self-efficacy sources, self-efficacy source experiences, and academic motivation.

A total of 18 student participants in a 10th grade public school at a rural community in a southeastern state in the United States were interviewed for this study. A high school principal, three 10th grade teachers, and a high school guidance counselor also participated in the study. The study employed a qualitative methodology that focused on student’s voices to gain a better understanding of the development of self-efficacy sources and the effects on academic motivation.

The findings revealed that students depicted their personal perceived self-efficacy based on the self-efficacy source development that had occurred in each student’s life, particularly the amount of mastery source experiences that students had successfully completed. Another finding indicated that the student participants based their personal perceived self-efficacy source development on how successful or unsuccessful they had been in school with special emphasis on students persuasion and physiological and affective source development. Evidence also supported that student participants academic motivation was based on the students personal perceived academic self-efficacy relating to all four mastery sources (mastery, vicarious, persuasion, physiological and affective). This research provides practitioners and stakeholders with a better understanding of students self-efficacy source developments and the impact that self-efficacy has on student academic motivation.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.