Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Parental Attachment, Inter-Parental Conflict and Late Adolescent's Self-Efficacy

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Parental Attachment, Inter-Parental Conflict and Late Adolescent's Self-Efficacy

Article excerpt


The main purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between parental attachment, inter-parental conflict and self-efficacy among 374 college students aged 17 to 19 years old in Iran. The probability proportional to size sampling technique was used to obtain sample size. The Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, the Children's Perception of Inter-parental Conflict Scale, and the General Self-Efficacy Scale were used to measure parental attachment, inter-parental conflict and self-efficacy, respectively. Results of Pearson correlation coefficient showed that parental attachment was positively and inter-parental conflict was negatively associated with adolescent's self-efficacy.

Keywords: parental attachment, inter-parental conflict, self-efficacy, adolescent

1. Introduction

Adolescence is characterized as a risky and turbulent period of life time (Bandura, 1997). Adolescents face significant amount of changes in physical, emotional and cognitive aspects as well as increasing expectation from family and society (Hazen, Schlozman, & Beresin, 2008). The sense of self-efficacy is important element to overcome difficulties and success during adolescent's lifetime. Self-efficacy is defined as a personal perceived capability to accomplish specific tasks to achieve the desired results (Bandura, 1997; Ormrod, 2006). Self-efficacy beliefs illuminate how people think, behave and feel (Bandura, 1994). Past research (Bandura, 1997; Caprara, Steca, Cervone, & Artistico, 2003; Ferla, Valcke, & Schuyten, 2008; Luszczynska, Gutierrez-Dona, & Schwarzer et al., 2005) emphasized that adolescent with high self-efficacy tended to have more positive developmental outcomes in physical and mental health, coping efficacy, and academic achievement. Thus, individual with high self-efficacy are more likely to have a greater strategic flexibility, cognitive resourcefulness, and set an encouraging target for themselves and able to control their environment. Individual who believe in their ability, work harder and are more persistent to achieve their goals than those who are unsure about their abilities (Bandura, 1994). However, low self-efficacy has been associated with low academic achievement, depression, anxiety, helplessness as well as negative effects in social and emotional relationships (Bandura, 1996; Goodness, Buhrmester, & Jenkins, 2002; Zajacova, Lynch, & Espenshade, 2005). As argued by Murphy, Gaughan, Hume, and Moore (2010) adolescent with a low self-efficacy considers difficult tasks as threats and tries to avoid them. They usually have low aspiration and weak obligation to their goals. They may be overwhelmed with a low sense of efficiency which may leads to negative outcomes that affect general well-being.

Adolescent's self-efficacy is influenced by social factors such as, families, school, and peers (Bandura, 1986). According to social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986), family is viewed as an initial source of self-efficacy and known as a primary source for adolescent's well-being. Bandura (1986) revealed four sources of information which are including mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal encouragement and physiological status that effect on self-efficacy. A person's experience of mastery in the past is the most effective factor in building the sense of self-efficacy. Adolescent learns how to use various sources of efficacy from family, peer and society to develop a steady personal efficacy (Coleman, 2003; Kenny, 1994). Parents who are warmth, responsive, and supportive are more likely to foster trust, competencies and self-efficacy beliefs in adolescent and provide diverse and multiple opportunities for mastery experience (Bandura, 1986). Such beliefs of competence are necessary during transition to different stages of development to help adolescents to cope with the stressful events. Furthermore, adolescents who received encouragement and support from parents develop a strong sense of self independent (Marcia, 1991). …

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