Title

Effects of Key Social Factors on the Self-Efficacy of Emerging Adults

Proposal Focus

Research

Abstract

Self-efficacy is defined as “people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce effects” (Bandura, 1994, p. 1) and has been firmly established in the literature as a motivator for behavioral change for decades (Bandura, 1977). Much of the literature has been dedicated to understanding the ways in which self-efficacy impacts outcomes within specific domains such as academics (Smith, 2018; McLean, 2018), work-related self-efficacy (Orth & Volmer, 2017; Perera, Granziera, & McIlveen, 2018), exercise and health-related self-efficacy (Martin, 2016; Thompson, Mitchell, Johnson-Lawrence, Watkins, & Modlin, 2017), among other specialized areas. Behavioral outcomes and attainment of future goals is arguably most important during during emerging adulthood, “the developmental period between adolescence and young adulthood” (Sussman & Arnett, 2014, p. 147). This developmental stage extends from 18 to 25 years wherein individuals begin to attain a certain level of independence from their families, and, for the first time, experience a new-found freedom not known in adolescence. This is a stage of exploration, a time to discover one’s own way in career, relationships, and views of the world (Sussman & Arnett, 2014). Much of the work dedicated to self-efficacy has focused on the predictive quality of the variable with less attention being given to the ways in which key social factors may determine self-efficacy and whether or not self-efficacy is differentially experienced between groups based on demographic characteristics.

Key social factors (i.e., gender, race-ethnicity, social status, etc.) heavily inform individual development across the life course and are rooted within social contexts. These factors are central to contemporary issues surrounding disparities and differentials that exacerbate risk factors experienced by vulnerable populations. As families continue to become more and more diverse, the importance of studying the impacts of these factors is growing in importance. Utilizing the social role theory provides a framework for understanding how behavior is influenced by social stereotypes associated with gender, race, and social status (Eagly, 1987).

Self-efficacious thought patterns impact much about a person in terms of how they view themselves, decisions they are likely to make, and what the associated outcome may be. Given the nature of emerging adulthood and the fact that many individuals are making monumental decisions that dictate future trajectories, the goal of this research is to study the relationship between gender, race-ethnicity, and social status and self-efficacy among emerging adults.

Data on 284 participants were collected and analysis is forthcoming. Participants were recruited through the use of physical flyer postings, social media advertisements, and through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (mTurk) system. Regression analysis and bivariate assessments will be used to explore the relationship between self-efficacy and key social factors.

Findings will be discussed in terms of how the self-efficacy of emerging adults is impacted by key social factors and what professionals can do with this information. Having these conversations will bring this information to the forefront of a greater conversation that needs to be had about systematic and societal inequalities that stem from the demographic of an individual.

Keywords

self-efficacy, key social factors, success, emerging adults, race/ethnicity, gender

Location

Tiger I

Start Date

9-3-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

9-3-2018 12:30 PM

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Mar 9th, 11:30 AM Mar 9th, 12:30 PM

Effects of Key Social Factors on the Self-Efficacy of Emerging Adults

Tiger I

Self-efficacy is defined as “people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce effects” (Bandura, 1994, p. 1) and has been firmly established in the literature as a motivator for behavioral change for decades (Bandura, 1977). Much of the literature has been dedicated to understanding the ways in which self-efficacy impacts outcomes within specific domains such as academics (Smith, 2018; McLean, 2018), work-related self-efficacy (Orth & Volmer, 2017; Perera, Granziera, & McIlveen, 2018), exercise and health-related self-efficacy (Martin, 2016; Thompson, Mitchell, Johnson-Lawrence, Watkins, & Modlin, 2017), among other specialized areas. Behavioral outcomes and attainment of future goals is arguably most important during during emerging adulthood, “the developmental period between adolescence and young adulthood” (Sussman & Arnett, 2014, p. 147). This developmental stage extends from 18 to 25 years wherein individuals begin to attain a certain level of independence from their families, and, for the first time, experience a new-found freedom not known in adolescence. This is a stage of exploration, a time to discover one’s own way in career, relationships, and views of the world (Sussman & Arnett, 2014). Much of the work dedicated to self-efficacy has focused on the predictive quality of the variable with less attention being given to the ways in which key social factors may determine self-efficacy and whether or not self-efficacy is differentially experienced between groups based on demographic characteristics.

Key social factors (i.e., gender, race-ethnicity, social status, etc.) heavily inform individual development across the life course and are rooted within social contexts. These factors are central to contemporary issues surrounding disparities and differentials that exacerbate risk factors experienced by vulnerable populations. As families continue to become more and more diverse, the importance of studying the impacts of these factors is growing in importance. Utilizing the social role theory provides a framework for understanding how behavior is influenced by social stereotypes associated with gender, race, and social status (Eagly, 1987).

Self-efficacious thought patterns impact much about a person in terms of how they view themselves, decisions they are likely to make, and what the associated outcome may be. Given the nature of emerging adulthood and the fact that many individuals are making monumental decisions that dictate future trajectories, the goal of this research is to study the relationship between gender, race-ethnicity, and social status and self-efficacy among emerging adults.

Data on 284 participants were collected and analysis is forthcoming. Participants were recruited through the use of physical flyer postings, social media advertisements, and through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (mTurk) system. Regression analysis and bivariate assessments will be used to explore the relationship between self-efficacy and key social factors.

Findings will be discussed in terms of how the self-efficacy of emerging adults is impacted by key social factors and what professionals can do with this information. Having these conversations will bring this information to the forefront of a greater conversation that needs to be had about systematic and societal inequalities that stem from the demographic of an individual.