Generalised self-efficacy in relation to the life transitions of adult learners in a university setting: towards a narrative constructivist model of self-regulation

du Preez, Jan (2010) Generalised self-efficacy in relation to the life transitions of adult learners in a university setting: towards a narrative constructivist model of self-regulation. In: 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11-16 July 2010, Melbourne, Australia.

[img] PDF (Published version - Abstract)

Download (2732Kb)
Official URL:


This paper demonstrates a model of self-regulation
based on a qualitative research project with adult learners undertaking an undergraduate degree. The narrative about the participant’s life transitions, co-constructed with the researcher, yielded data about their
generalised self-efficacy and resulted in a unique
self-efficacy narrative for each participant. A model of self-regulation is proposed with potential applications for coaching, counselling and psychotherapy. A narrative method was employed to construct narratives about an
individual’s self-efficacy in relation to their
experience of learning and life transitions. The
method involved a cyclical and iterative process
using qualitative interviews to collect life history
data from participants. In addition, research participants completed reflective homework tasks, and this data was included in the participant’s narratives. A highly collaborative method entailed narratives being co-constructed by researcher and research participants as the
participants were guided in reflecting on their experience in relation to learning and life transitions; the reflection focused on behaviour, cognitions and emotions that constitute a sense of self-efficacy. The analytic process used was narrative analysis, in which life is viewed as constructed and experienced through the telling
and retelling of stories and hence the analysis is the creation of a coherent and resonant story. The method of constructing self-efficacy narratives was applied to a sample of mature aged students starting an undergraduate degree. The research outcomes confirmed a three-factor
model of self-efficacy, comprising three interrelated
stages: initiating action, applying effort, and persistence in overcoming difficulties. Evaluation of the research process by participants suggested that they had gained an enhanced understanding of self-efficacy from
their participation in the research process, and would be able to apply this understanding to their studies and other endeavours in the future. A model of self-regulation is proposed as a means for coaches, counsellors and
psychotherapists working from a narrative constructivist perspective to assist clients facing life transitions by helping them generate selfefficacious cognitions, emotions and behaviour.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 8624
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Only abstracts published in conference proceedings, as supplied here.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2010 02:00
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2011 01:12
Uncontrolled Keywords: self-efficacy, adult learners, narrative constructivist model, self-regulation, narrative analysis
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only