Copyright © 2022 Hannes Wessels Therapist & Educational Psychologist
As an educational psychologists I often consult with parents that feel that their child has the academic ability however, they are just not living up to their expectations. This often leaves families frustrated and adds pressure on the whole family system. During the final years of school students are faced with questions about their future and parents want the best for them. So how do you support your adolescent to grow closer to their potential? Greater self-efficacy might be the key.
Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as a personal belief in his/her ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task. Your child’s sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges. The theory further elaborates specifically on academic self-efficacy. Academic self-efficacy refers to your child’s self belief (conviction) that they can successfully achieve at an expected level on an academic task or attain a specific academic goal.
This implies although your teen might have the academic ability but, a very important factor that contributes to their performance is their self confidence that they can achieve their academic goals. Your teenager’s belief in their capacity to perform to their potential is important. Paraphrasing Bandura, it is not enough for your teen to possess the requisite knowledge and skills to perform a task; they also must have the conviction that they can successfully perform the required behaviours under typical and, importantly, under challenging circumstances. Building up to their final exams your child’s ability is as important as their conviction to perform under the pressure of Grade 12. By increasing their self efficacy you can increase their self confidence to face the challenges of matric.
The Five sources of self-efficacy
The five sources of self-efficacy beliefs are:
- Mastery of experiences
- Social modelling
- Verbal persuasion
- Emotional and physiological state
- Imaginal experiences