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Keywords: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERSONAL GROWTH AND SELF-EFFICACY IN YOUNG ADULTS
The present study investigated the relationship between personal growth and self efficacy in young adults, although a lot of research has been carried out on personal growth, levels of personal growth are associated with higher levels of well being, a lower levels of distress, including depression and anxiety. Bandura theory of self efficacy explains that, beginning in infancy, parents and caregivers provide experience that differently influences children self efficacy.
The study was a descriptive approach design. A total of 201 participants took parts in the study which were made of 95(45.2%) males and 106(54. 8%) females; a structure questionnaire was employed for data collection. Three hypotheses were stated and subjected to analysis using correlation one way ANOVA and t- test for independent measure.
The results revealed that there is a significant relationship between personal growth and self efficacy of young adult (r=0.0356, df= 199, P= >0.05), the results also showed that male young adults reported significantly high level of personal growth and self efficacy than their female counterparts (t= 0.097, df= 199, P = >0.05). Furthermore, the result also revealed that there was statistical significant effect of parental socio economic status on personal growth of young adults as determined by one way ANOVA (F= (15,184) =6.569, P=0.001 <0.05).
The study concluded that a positive relationship exist between personal growth and self efficacy, and also that there are gender differences on both personal growth and self efficacy, and it was recommended that young adults should not just depend on their parental socio economic background, they should gear up and show the ability to assess their own psychological preparedness to engage in personal growth process.
Key words Personal growth, Self efficacy, Gender.
Word count: 276
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Personal growth could be view as a personal active intention to create new ideas that could serve a new self concept which new invention of knowledge could cut across. According to Mackay, (1997) defined personal growth as individual concept which claim to bring new look at knowledge. But he further said that personal growth at time could be negative which orientation had abandoned for long. However, positive idea thinking of an individual which most people welcome as a new look of ideas (Grob, 2001) stated that, technology that rampant today world could served as growth initiation of some who couple packages which product output of work, enhancing the performance of industry and teaching-learning of pupils in school. So this personal growth of individual varied from one opinion to another person.
individual’s view is likely to change over time because individual differ in their views of self-direction in learning, but. Traits are labels for broad reaction tendencies and express relatively permanent patterns of behaviour (Catteli, 1965). People make internal attributions to individuals who demonstrate particular behaviour pattern indifferent situations or at different times without apparent external reasons. The more cross-situational consistency one observes, and the more external causes of behaviour seem to be lacking, the more likely one would make an internal or dispositional attribution (Harvey, Kelley and Shapiro, 1997).
Individuals hold perceptions of what skills, abilities, talents and knowledge they possess. These can range from very specific skills, to more general competencies such as the leadership skills to create and manage change. Personal growth also transcends specific situation, guide selection or evaluation of behaviour and events (Schwartz and Bilsky, 1990). Individuals demonstrate certain values through their speech and actions, the concern over what is meant by self-directed, learning is a relevant one.
Personal Growth has emerged as a promising constitutes in furthering such understanding and it is defined as “active intentional engagement in the process of personal growth. Personal growth may prevent distress and enhance well-being based on several underlying cognitive domains of the self, the actual self, which is made up of attributes that the person believes he or she currently possesses, the ideal self, which is made up of attributes that the person aspires to possess of that someone else aspires for the persons to possess and they ought self which is made up of the attribute that the person or a significant others feels he or she should or is obligated to possess (Shapiro, 2007).
Personal growth is a change within a person, either cognitive, behavioural or affective (Prochaska and Diclemente, 1996). Generally, this self change is thought of as positive, with movement in the direction of being “more complete and fully functioning” at least from the perspective of the person who is changing. There are three distinct ways of personal growth:
Growth that is unintentional and out of awareness, growth that is unintentional but in awareness, growth that is intentional and fully in awareness. Personal growth can occur as a result of both intentional and unintentional processes, when a person is concerned only with intentional self change, that individual actively and intentionally engages in the self change process in any life domain, the term is generally known as Personal Growth Initiative (Robitschek, 1999).
Personal Growth is an active, intentional engagement in the process of growth and in changing and developing as a person (Robitschek, 1998). Personal Growth is the active seeking out of self-growth experiences. It is a global inclination to improve one’s self, and it is a developed skill set, including cognition, behavior, attitude and motivation that a person carries into each life experience (Robitschek, Ashton, Martinez, Murrey and Shotts, 2009).When a person intentionally involves himself in the growth process, he is said to be on the path of personal growth. Intentional Growth has three salient features: Knowledge of and about the process of personal growth (Knowledge about the procedures to bring about personal growth, Knowledge about specific things to change, General knowledge of self improvement), Valuing the process of personal growth (Valuing process, outcomes of personal growth), and Intentional Behaviour. Personal growth is an acquired skill set for self-improvement across life domains and it is comprised of four components:
v Readiness for Change (ability to assess one’s own psychological preparedness to engage in personal growth processes);
v Planfulness (ability to be strategic and organized in self-change efforts);
v Using Resources (ability to identify and access resources external to the self, such as other people and materials) and
v Intentional Behavior (actual follow-through, or doing of self-change plans and behaviors).
These four components operate synergistically, rather than sequentially, to optimize personal growth (Robitschek, 2009). From the review, it was found that Personal Growth is correlated with many variables like psychological well-being, career exploration, family functioning, parental socio economic status, mental health, and self-efficacy etc.
Self-efficacy has become one of the most widely studied variables in the educational, psychological, and organizational sciences (Scherbaum, Charash & Kern, 2006). Self efficacy is a construct which describes the confidence of an individual in their own abilities. Self-Efficacy makes a difference to how people feel, think and act. People with high self-efficacy choose to perform more challenging tasks. They set themselves higher goals and stick to them. Actions are pre-shaped in thoughts and once an action has been taken, highly self-efficacious people invest more effort and persist longer than those low in self-efficacy. When setbacks occur, they recover more quickly and remain committed to their goals (Bandura, 1997). Self-efficacy is usually understood as being either task specific or domain specific. In recent years, a derivative of self-efficacy called general self-efficacy (GSE) has been developed (Scherbaum, Charash & Kern, 2006).
Generalized self-efficacy (GSE) refers to a broad and stable sense of personal competence to deal effectively with a variety of stressful situations (Sherer et al.,1982). GSE is the overall belief in one’s ability and Specific self-efficacy is task related. General self-efficacy (GSE) reflects a generalization across various domains of functioning in which people judge how efficacious they are. GSE is a universal construct, which means that it characterizes a basic belief that is inherent in all individuals (Luszczynska, Scholf and Schwarzer, 2005). GSE refers to global confidence in one’s coping ability across a wide range of demanding or novel situations (Sherer at al, 1982). GSE is a situation-independent competence belief. GSE has been conceptualized as a relatively stable generalized belief that an individual can marshal the resources needed to deal with the challenges that he or she experiences. That is, GSE is a trait-like belief in one’s competence. GSE is a theoretically and practically useful construct for the educational and organizational domains (Scherbaum, Charash & Kern, 2006).
One’s belief about oneself can act as moderating variable in the stress-strain relation on type of belief that has received considerable attention in the research self-efficacy. Perceived self-efficacy refers to beliefs in one’s own capacity to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations. The principal source of self efficacy-enactive mastering depends on both real and perceived execution of the task (such as coping with the environment), other sources, vicarious learning, and emotional activation, one’s own beliefs of motivation, affect, thought and action (Bandura 1992).
Self-efficacy can make a difference to people’s ways of thinking feeling and acting, with respect to feelings, a low sense of self efficacy is associated with depression, anxiety and helplessness. People with respect to feelings, a low sense of self efficacy also harbor pessimistic thoughts about their performance and personal development. In contrast, a strong sense of beliefs in one self facilitate cognitive and executes processes in multiple contexts, influence like decision making and academic achievement (Bandura 1995; schwarzer, 1997)
Researchers have conceptualized generalized self-efficacy as the confidence in one’s own copying skills that is manifested in a wide range of challenging situations, and which has a broad and stable nature (Schwarzer 1999). Never the less, the degree of generality may vary depending on the different results it is intended topic or moderate, such as the degree of similarity of activities, the modalities or forms in which the skills manifest themselves aspects (behavioral, cognitive and effective), and qualitative aspects of the situation.
Self efficacy as general capacity, seems to be a better predictor of performance than specific self-efficacy (Collins, 1982; Bouffard-bouchard, 1989; Larivee,1991), other studies show that the types efficacy (generalized and specific) are positively related, and may act in a complementary way (Jex and Bliese, 1999; Watt and Matting, 1995). Nevertheless, other authors point out the need to develop measures of specific skills in specifics populations (Maibach & Murphy, 1995; Bandura, 1997).
Since its conception, self efficacy has been applied to different context (Bandura, 1997, 1982, 1997). This author has point out that self efficacy is related to better health, better self development and greater social integration in the work context, for example, (Spear and frees 1997), studied generalized self efficacy, showing that self efficacy function as mediator in the relationship between con troll and initiative when the later is concurrent, and as a moderator when the personal initiative (PI) is retrospective. Other author (Bandura, 1997) introduced the concept of self efficacy over a quarter century ago; it has been widely tested in varied disciplines and settings and received support. From a growing bodies of findings from diverse fields. For example, self efficacy beliefs have been found to be related to chemical problems such as addiction (Marlatt, Baer, and Quidly, 1995); depression (Dauis and Yates, 1982); social skills (Moe and Zeiss, 1982), assertiveness (Lee, 1983, 1984), to stress (Jerusalem and Mittag, 1995), to pain control (Manning and Wright, 1983); and to health (O’ Leary 1985). With reference to the educational settings, self efficacy has been found to positively correlate with academic achievement. Research findings have established that student’s self efficacy are correlated with other motivation construct and with student’s academic performance and achievement (See, Ashton and Webb, 1986; Lent and Hackett, 1987)
The concept of self efficacy is a focal point of Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory. By means of the self-system, individuals exercise control over their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Among the beliefs with which an individual evaluates the control over his/her actions and environment, self-efficacy is the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments. This is constructed on the basis of the four most influential source; enactive attainment, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and physiological as well as emotional factors, self-efficacy plays the central role in the cognitive regulation of motivation, because people regulate the level and the distribution of effect they will expend in accordance with the effects they are expecting from their actions. It also refers to beliefs about one’s capabilities to learn or perform behaviors at designated level [Bandura, 1986, 1997]. It could also be referred as one’s personal capabilities of belief that one can perform a certain task and attaining certain goal.
From the social cognitive theory, it was postulated that human achievement depends on interaction between one’s behaviours, personal factors [e.g. thoughts, beliefs], and environmental condition. Some findings have shown that self-efficacy has influence on academic motivation, learning and achievements (such as perception of self and acceptance of others, dynamic interactions within groups, and understanding the skills one can offer in a group setting). Self-efficacy has been applied to diverse areas such as school achievement, emotional disorders and career choice; it has become a clear factor in areas as social and personality psychology.
People will be more inclined to take on a task if they can succeed people generally avoid tasks where their self-efficacy is low, but will engage in tasks where their self-efficacy is high. Their actual ability likely over estimates their ability to complete tasks, which can lead to irreversible damage. On the order hand, people with a self-efficacy significantly lower than their skills. Research shows that the ‘’optimum’’ level of self-efficacy is a little above ability, which encourages people to tackle challenging tasks and gain valuable experience.
Apparently, actions are somewhat pre-shared in thought, and people anticipate either optimistic or pessimistic events in line with the level of capability of belief we hold, once an action is taken, high efficacious person tend to invest more effort and time than those who are low in efficacy, in life, when people are faced with setbacks, some recover quickly and maintain the commitment to their goals. Self-efficacy allows people to select challenging settings explore their environment or create new environment.
However, throughout our lives, people’s judgments rights or wrong on many others and things but most importantly, the one that we pass on ourselves has significant effect on us. Efficacy suggest that people with higher self-efficacy are better at searching for a new solution and are more stuck to working on different tasks, those who are low on self-efficacy give-up quickly on difficult tasks and cannot maintain the tasks as well. These patterns of behavior, if they continue lead to the development of different levels of actual ability, which results in varying levels of achievement. The beliefs begin to form in early childhood as children deal with a wide variety of experiences, tasks, and situations. However, the growth of self-efficacy does not end during youth, but continues to evolve throughout life as people acquire new skills, experiences, and understanding. According to Bandura, there are four major sources of self-efficacy.
1. Mastery Experiences
“The most effective way of developing a strong sense of efficacy is through mastery experiences,” Bandura explained. Performing a task successfully strengthens our sense of self-efficacy. However, failing to adequately deal with a task or challenge can undermine and weaken self-efficacy.
2. Social Modeling
Witnessing other people successfully completing a task is another important source of self-efficacy. According to Bandura, “Seeing people similar to oneself succeed by sustained effort raises observers’ beliefs that they too possess the capabilities master comparable activities to succeed.”
3. Social Persuasion
Bandura also asserted that people could be persuaded to believe that they have the skills and capabilities to succeed. Consider a time when someone said something positive and encouraging that helped you achieve a goal. Getting verbal encouragement from others helps people overcome self-doubt and instead focus on giving their best effort to the task at hand.
4. Psychological Responses
Our own responses and emotional reactions to situations also play an important role in self-efficacy. Moods, emotional states, physical reactions, and stress levels can all impact how a person feels about their personal abilities in a particular situation. A person who becomes extremely nervous before speaking in public may develop a weak sense of self-efficacy in these situations.
However, Bandura also notes “it is not the sheer intensity of emotional and physical reactions that is important but rather how they are perceived and interpreted.” By learning how to minimize stress and elevate mood when facing difficult or challenging tasks, people can improve their sense of self-efficacy.
Psychologists have studied self-efficacy from several perspectives, noting various paths to the development of self-efficacy; the dynamics of self-efficacy, and lack thereof, in different settings; interactions between self-efficacy and self-concept; and habits of attribution that contribute to, or detract from, self-efficacy. Self-efficacy affects every area of human endeavor, by determining the beliefs a person holds regarding his or her power to affect situations, thus strongly influencing both the power a person actually has to face challenges competently and the choices a person is most likely to make. These effects are particularly apparent, and compelling, with regard to behaviors affecting health. Self-efficacy is distinct both from efficacy and from self-esteem, confidence, and self-concept.
Understanding how to foster the development of self-efficacy is important for policymakers, educators, and others in leadership positions, and to anyone seeking to build a happier, more productive life.
People generally avoid tasks where self-efficacy is low, but undertake tasks where self-efficacy is high. Self-efficacy significantly beyond actual ability leads to overestimation of the ability to complete tasks. On the other hand, self-efficacy significantly lower than ability discourages growth and skill development. Research shows that the optimum level of self-efficacy is slightly above ability; in this situation, people are most encouraged to tackle challenging tasks and gain experience.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Although a lot of research has been carried out on personal growth initiative, levels of personal growth initiative are associated with higher levels of well-being a lower levels of distress, including depression and anxiety. The authors like (Mackay, Kelly, and Karp, 2001) suggest several explanations for these relationships that personal growth initiative might prevent the formation of distress symptoms, might minimize the level of distress experienced.
An individual high on personal growth initiative might be better able to identify specific ways to respond to the event, feel more confident in his ability to resolve the problem and thus experience less distress from the same event than someone lower in personal growth initiative. Lastly, individuals high in personal growth initiative might be better able to anticipate problems and actively work to prevent the problems from occurring than those low in personal growth initiative.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the difference between personal growth and self-efficacy in young adults?
2. What is the difference between personal growth and self efficacy in male and female young adults?
3. How does the socio economics status affect personal growth of young adults?
1.4 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1. To examine the differences between personal growth and self-efficacy in young adults.
2. To investigate whether male will report higher level of personal growth than female.
3. To examine the effect of socio economic status on personal growth of young adults.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1. It was expected that there should be a significant difference between personal growth and self-efficacy in young adults
2. It was expected that male young adults should report significantly higher on personal growth and self efficacy than the female young adults.
3. It was expected that parental socio economic status should have effect on personal growth of young adults.
1.6 RELEVANCE OF THE STUDY.
Recent studies have shown that self-efficacy leave much to be desired, there is a need therefore for researches to continue to explore this frontier of knowledge. The relevance of this study cannot be undermined because it will assist gaining insight in adapting various managerial strategies in addressing self-efficacy.
The study will also reveal how policy makers, government, university teachers, educationists and counselors should work together to develop intervention programmes that could improve the self efficacy for taking personal growth among young adults, as personal growth initiative is a sine-qua-non for human development and survival.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The major focus of this study is to investigate the relationship between personal growth and self-efficacy in young adults. The study will be limited to the entire 400 level students of the Faculty of Science, The Social and Management Sciences, Arts, Education, and the entire 500 level students of the Centre for Continue Education (CCED), Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria, South West.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
v Self-efficacy: this is one’s personal capability of belief that one can perform a certain task and attaining certain goals.
v High self-efficacy: this is high sense of beliefs that one has that he or she has total capability to attain set goals.
v Low self-efficacy: this is a low sense of belief that someone has that he/she has little or no capability to achieve the set goals.
Personal growth: this is an individual concept which claimed to bring new look as knowledge.
Keywords: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERSONAL GROWTH AND SELF-EFFICACY IN YOUNG ADULTS