The Concept Analysis of Self-Efficacy 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 effect ance is used to describe the motivational aspect of competence. The theory of motivation is not solely based on the basic animal instinct of drive.
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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.
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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 to maintain a positive self-concept in a dynamic and interactive world. Self-image, self-esteem and self-concept all interact to influence a persons outlook on life.
Self-efficacy is concerned with a person’s estimate of their personal capabilities. Successful performance of a behavior leading to a positive experiences leads to a high level of self-efficacy, failures diminish the level of self-efficacy. Antecedent conditions or precursors to self-efficacy include social experiences, learning experiences, and perceived ability to change or control the outcome of their condition. This may occur through situational behavior, learning behaviors, and experiential learning. The experience of being successful improves self-efficacy. Repeating the action and obtaining positive outcomes improve the motivation to preserve the behavior.
Mastery of these behaviors and experiences give confidence to an individual in their self-efficacy and their ability to control their outcomes. Failures in the same experiences will lower ones level of self-efficacy. Consequences are the acquired skill and self-confidence created by a successful change in behavior affecting a positive change in outcomes. Through the practice of self-efficacy one can increase their confidence, desire, willingness to act, risk taking of new behaviors, and pride in their outcomes. Failures in these areas due to lost opportunities or hesitancy to actively change behaviors and try new activities will result in a low self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a mechanism that explains an individual’s behavior and perceived capability to perform a behavior.
It is associated with a positive self-concept, and self-appraisal. It is the personal control that comes from mastering new experiences with anticipation of successful performance. It is the preservation of a behavior until success is met. Self-efficacy varies in its strength and the level of self-efficacy is impacted by the experience of success or failure related to the risk of taking actions toward change.
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It evolves from a person’s perception of competence in performing a behavior and having positive outcomes. A model case might be one in which a patient was diagnosed with alcoholism. The patient is detoxified, counseled, and given a treatment plan which would require them to continue treatment by seeing a counselor and going to community alcoholics anonymous (AA) meetings. The patient grew up in a family of alcoholics, and most of his friends drank alcohol.
The patient has a great deal of fear and trepidation related to his ability to remain abstinent. He is conversely motivated by his potential loss of health, loss of family, loss of friends, loss of job, and inability to manage his life. The patient is released and attends daily community AA meetings, he sees his individual counselor weekly, and he removes all the alcohol from his home. He does well with his abstinence for a month, and then he relapses at a family celebration of his nephew’s graduation. He suffers an acute pancreatitis and is hospitalized for a week. This is a strong enough reason to confirm his conviction that he cannot safely drink alcohol ever again.
With a renewed determination, the patient returns to his counseling, his meetings, and this time he obtains a sponsor, works his step program, and gets involved in the AA way of life. He avoids occasions where drinking is involved or takes another recovering person with him to help him remain abstinent in dangerous situations. He remains abstinent for three months and begins to regain some self-esteem, confidence, and the trust of his family, friends and co-workers. The positive outcomes from his behavior change and continued effort strengthen his self-efficacy.
He now begins to enjoy the fellowship he has in his program and further develops new coping skills that he is able to apply to life’s stressful situations. A borderline case might be one in which a patient is drinking excessively and develops pancreatitis. The doctor warns him that he cannot drink alcohol any longer. He is offered a treatment program to learn how to remain abstinent from alcohol. He refuses and believes he can stop on his own. He remains abstinent for three months because he was aware that his health was in jeopardy.
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Then one day he was at a wedding and toasted the bride and groom with a glass of champagne. After only one glass of champagne, he began to experience some right upper quadrant pain. He was frightened that he might have caused his pancreatitis to return. He felt ill and went home. He never again drank. His fear about alcohols effects on his health caused him to be abstinent, but nothing else about his behavior changed, and he often found himself miserable when he had a desire to drink, but could not act on his desire.
A contrary case might be one in which a person becomes alcoholic. He looses his wife and children because of his drinking. He also looses his job, and becomes homeless. He is found in an alley unconscious and is brought by the police to the local hospital. He is detoxified and given the facts regarding alcoholism. He rejects the idea that he is alcoholic and refuses any kind of treatment.
He is released to a shelter and given information regarding community AA meetings and free counseling centers. The patient goes to a shelter and is subsequently thrown out due to his continued drinking and inappropriate behavior. In conclusion, you may have various people given the same diagnosis that will have various levels of self-efficacy. The model case is one in which a person is given the information about their condition and its treatment. The person practices the treatment for a short time, and is doing well, and then experiences a set back that causes him to reexamine his motives. He has an adequate self-concept and want to preserve his way of life, so he not only returns to practicing his treatment plan, but he improves and enlarges his care of himself and his disease state.
The borderline case changes his behavior due to a serious health threat. However, when he experiences a set back, he chooses to abstain with no assistance from anyone. He avoids his health problem, but is not enjoying his new way of life. The contrary case is one in which the patient is made aware of his disease state and is given the opportunity to be treated, but he avoids all treatment and continues on the road of self-destruction. These examples show how self-efficacy in the health care field can be a valuable an necessary tool for improving health care, but like most concepts, self-efficacy is only as good as the person willing to practice it. It is not experienced by everyone and is impacted by self-esteem, self-confidence and many other variables.
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ReferencesBandura, A. (1977).
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The Social Psychology of Self-Efficacy. Annual Review of Sociology. 15, pp. 291-316. Maibach, E. & Murphy, D.
Self-efficacy in Health Promotion Research and Practice: Conceptualization and Measurement. Health Education Research, 10 (1), pp. 37-50. O’Leary, A.
Self-efficacy and Health. Behavioral Research & Therapy, 23, 437-451. Rodgers, L. & Kn afl, K.
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Motivation Reconsidered: The Concept of Competence. Psychological Review, 66 (5), pp. 297-331.