Delineating the Relationship between Self-Trust and Generalized Self-Efficacy: Implications for Mental Health

  • Author / Creator
    Mazo, Michael
  • Generalized self-efficacy (GSE) is understood as a stable and trait-like belief that one can manage challenging situations or tasks one is faced with. Based on Bandura’s social cognitive theory, GSE is thought to arise from repeated experiences of mastery and performance success over a broad range of situations and challenges. Low levels of GSE are thought to exert negative influences on psychological well-being, including in mental health settings. A seemingly related trait, self-trust, is much less studied. In contrast to GSE, self-trust focuses less on performance outcomes or successes, but instead emphasizes the self-validating acceptance of one’s experiences, feelings, and thoughts. However, the two constructs have never been examined in conjunction. Thus, the primary aims of this study were to explore whether GSE and self-trust are distinguishable psychological constructs, and to assess whether the two constructs predict risk factors of mental illness (trait-anxiety here) in a similar manner. A large sample of undergraduate students (N=1859) responded to three questionnaires pertaining to GSE, self-trust and trait-anxiety. Participants also provided information pertaining to basic background and demographic information. A moderate positive relationship between self-trust (STQ) and generalized self-efficacy (GSE-S) suggested that the two constructs are related but not identical. Self-trust emerged as a better predictor of trait-anxiety than GSE. However, self-trust and GSE together explained more of the variance in trait-anxiety scores, compared to GSE and self-trust separately. These findings did not change substantially as a function of gender, ethnicity, year in university, or age. Findings imply that the psychometric assessment of self-trust, in conjunction with GSE is indeed relevant in the context of mental health, such that addressing self-trust may well contribute to supporting those who struggle with persistent anxiety symptomology.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.