Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

The Relation of Self-Efficacy Measures to Sport Performance: A Meta-Analytic Review

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

The Relation of Self-Efficacy Measures to Sport Performance: A Meta-Analytic Review

Article excerpt

This meta-analysis examined the relationship between self-efficacy and performance in spurt. Based on 45 studies (102 correlations), the average correlation between self-efficacy and sport performance was .38. Given the heterogeneity of findings, follow-up univariate and multivariate moderator analyses were conducted. Results indicated that the most important moderator was concordance, thereby highlighting the importance of matching the self-efficacy and performance measures. Additional moderators we examined included the types of self-efficacy measures, the types of performance measures, the nature of the task, and the time of assessments. These variables accounted for approximately 44% of the variance in the self-efficacy-performance relationship. Practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Key words: measurement

The construct of self-efficacy has provided the impetus for research studies across a number of domains. Self-efficacy describes the belief one has in being able to execute a specific task to obtain a certain outcome (Bandura, 1997). It is not concerned with the skills an individual has but rather with the judgments of what one can do with whatever skills he or she possesses. Self-efficacy, then, can be considered a situationally specific self-confidence (Feltz, 1988a). Self-efficacy is theorized to influence the activities individuals choose to approach, the effort they expend on such activities, and the degree of persistence they demonstrate in the face of failure or aversive stimuli (cf. Bandura, 1997). More specifically, the greater the efficacy, the greater the pursuit of challenge, and the higher the goal striving.

Many researchers have examined the relationship between self-efficacy and performance in sport. In our literature review, we found that correlations between self. efficacy and performance ranged from a high of.79 (e.g., Martin & Gill, 1991) to a low of .01 (e.g., McAuley, 1985a), and in some cases the correlations were negative (e.g., McCullagh, 1987). The magnitude and direction of the relationship between self-efficacy and performance vanes considerably. Bandura (1986, 1997) stated that although self-efficacy judgments are functionally related to action, a number of factors can affect the strength of the relationship. In this review, we have summarized the literature pertaining to the relationship between self-efficacy and performance in sport via meta-analytic techniques. The reasons for conducting this meta-analysis were to clarify the existing literature and provide recommendations for researchers interested in assessing self-efficacy. In the following sections we review how self-efficacy has been asses sed and how performance has been measured. We next describe the moderators that may affect the relationship between self-efficacy and performance. These moderators include (a) type of assessment of self-efficacy and performance, (b) concordance, (c) the participant's experience with task, and (d) time of assessments.

Self-Efficacy Measures

Bandura (1997) noted that disparities in observed relationships between self-efficacy beliefs and action might stem from assessment deficiencies. He advocated a micro-analytic approach that involved measuring efficacy in terms of particularized judgments of capability that vary across realms of activity, under different levels of task demands within a given activity domain, and under different situational circumstances. Accordingly, self-efficacy measures are usually constructed by listing a series of tasks, often varying in difficulty, complexity, stressfulness or some other dimension depending on the particular function being explored (Bandura, 1982). In this approach, individuals are asked whether they can perform at specific levels for a specific task (responses are either "yes" or "no"). Then they provide the degree of confidence (or strength of their response) for those items designated as "yes" (usually rated on a 100-point probability scale from total uncertainty to total certainty) for each level. …

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