Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Alteration of Adolescent Self-Efficacy When Applying Brief Counseling at School

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Alteration of Adolescent Self-Efficacy When Applying Brief Counseling at School

Article excerpt

Self-efficacy is an important element of psychical health and psychical resistance and is defined as an individual's subjective sensation that she or he is able to deal with tasks that may arise and is able to solve problems (Possel, Baldus, Horn, Groen, & Hautzinger, 2005). Failing to suffer from various stressors is insufficient for the concept of mental sanity to be applied to an individual (Iskender, 2009). To be mentally sane an individual must be able to deal with the problems s/he faces (e.g., at work, within the family), be able to plan for the future and be unafraid of it, have realistic objectives, and cope with the difficulties that require the optimal level of self-efficacy. Hence, an adolescent demonstrates self-efficacy by her or his carefulness, consciousness, and the subjective experience of success and control (Iskender, 2009; Khodarahimi, 2010; Kiran-Esen, 2012).

Adolescents who believe that they are unable to control their lives and the consequences of events typically experience anxiety and depression. Furthermore, they more frequently experience the subjective feeling of helplessness (Possel et al., 2005). On the other hand, more prominent self-efficacy in an adolescent is related to stronger optimism, the ability to cope with stressors, and the achievement of superior academic results (Khodarahimi, 2010; Lane & Lane, 2001; Singh & Udainiya, 2009).

Adolescents' ability to cope with various problematic academic and personal situations may boost their self-respect and overcome their feelings of helplessness (Pourebrahim, Khoshkonesh, & Salehi, 2011). If adolescents are given efficient psychological assistance they are instilled with adaptive skills for dealing with problems, which in turn enables them to develop their social competence, autonomy, self-efficacy, and self-confidence (Schieffer & Schieffer, 2000). This motivates adults (e.g., teachers, parents) to provide adolescents with efficient high quality psychological assistance in the environment that is the most easily accessible to them, namely, school.

Counseling an adolescent is substantially different from counseling an adult (Shefler, 2000). Moreover, adolescents rarely seek assistance on their own (especially psychological assistance). It is more frequently sought by parents, guardians, or class educators when the adolescent's behavior starts causing problems (Gibson-Cline, 1996). Adolescents tend not to complete long-term counseling (Shefler, 2000). Psychologists should therefore be prepared to work flexibly and creatively with adolescents in order to establish a quality contact with the adolescent, which is suitable for achieving changes (Gibson-Cline, 1996; Shefler, 2000).

Solution-focused brief therapy (De Shazer, 1985) is directed toward alterations in the individual's behavior, which should stimulate the counseled individual's self-efficacy and boost their ability to deal with problems arising out of daily life issues arising (Pourebrahim et al., 2011).

The objective in this research was to establish what impact brief solution-focused counseling has on adolescents' self-efficacy.

Method

Participants

A total of 553 students from the senior classes of secondary schools participated in this research. They were divided into two groups: the experiment group and the comparison group. Adolescents in the experiment group were counseled by applying the strategy of solution-focused brief therapy. This group consisted of 253 adolescents aged 15 to 19 (age average 16.79 [+ or -] 1.13 years) of whom 139 (54.9%) were females and 114 (45.1%) were males. The comparison group comprised 300 individuals aged 15 to 19 (age average 16.71 [+ or -] 1.09 years), none of whom were involved in counseling, of whom 155 (51.7%) were females and 145 (48.3%) were males. The comparison group was important for evaluating spontaneous changes in self-efficacy.

Instruments

In order to achieve positive changes in adolescents' behavior and emotions we applied a counseling method based on the solution-focused brief counseling method (De Shazer, 1985). …

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