INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, 2005, 40 (2), 80–89
General self-efficacy in various domains of human
functioning: Evidence from five countries
Warsaw University, Poland and Freie Universita¨t
Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Costa Rica
Freie Universita¨t Berlin, Germany
B ased on social-cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997), this paper examined whether perceived self-efficacy is a
universal psychological construct that accounts for variance within various domains of human functioning.
Perceived self-efficacy is not only of a task-specific nature, but it can also be identified at a more general level of
functioning. General self-efficacy (GSE) is the belief in one’s competence to tackle novel tasks and to cope
with adversity in a broad range of stressful or challenging encounters, as opposed to specific self-efficacy, which is
constrained to a particular task at hand. The study aimed at exploring the relations between GSE and a variety
of other psychological constructs across several countries. Relations between general self-efficacy and
personality, well-being, stress appraisals, social relations, and achievements were examined among 8796
participants from Costa Rica, Germany, Poland, Turkey, and the USA. Across countries, the findings provide
evidence for associations between perceived general self-efficacy and the selected variables. The highest positive
associations were with optimism, self-regulation, and self-esteem, whereas the highest negative associations
emerged with depression and anxiety. Academic performance is also associated with self-efficacy as hypothesized.
The replication across languages or cultures adds significance to these findings. The relations between
self-efficacy and other personality measures remained stable across cultures and samples. Thus, perceived general
self-efficacy appears to be a universal construct that yields meaningful relations with other psychological
S e basant sur la the´orie sociale-cognitive (Bandura, 1997), l’efficacite´ de soi perc¸ue fut examine´e comme un
construit psychologique universel contribuant a` la variance dans divers domaines du fonctionnement
humain. L’efficacite´ de soi perc¸ue n’est pas seulement relie´e a` une taˆche de nature spe´cifique, mais elle peut aussi
eˆtre identifie´e comme un niveau de fonctionnement plus ge´ne´ral. L’efficacite´ de soi ge´ne´rale est la croyance
qu’une personne posse`de la compe´tence pour faire face aux taˆches nouvelles et pour ge´rer l’adversite´ dans un
large e´ventail d’e´ve´nements repre´sentant un stress ou un de´fi, a` l’oppose´ de l’efficacite´ de soi spe´cifique qui est
restreinte a` une taˆche particulie`re. Cette e´tude visait a` explorer les relations entre l’efficacite´ de soi ge´ne´rale et une
varie´te´ d’autres construits psychologiques a` travers les pays. Les relations entre l’efficacite´ de soi ge´ne´rale et la
personnalite´, le bien-eˆtre, l’e´valuation du stress, les relations sociales et les accomplissements furent examine´es
parmi 8,796 participants du Costa Rica, de l’Allemagne, de la Pologne, de la Turquie et des E
´ tats-Unis. A`
travers ces pays, les re´sultats fournissent des e´vidences d’associations entre l’efficacite´ de soi ge´ne´rale et les
variables se´lectionne´es. Les plus fortes associations positives furent avec l’optimisme, l’autore´gulation et l’estime
de soi, tandis que les plus fortes associations ne´gatives ont e´merge´ avec la de´pression et l’anxie´te´. Tel qu’attendu,
la performance acade´mique fut e´galement associe´e avec l’efficacite´ de soi. La reproduction a` travers les langues
et les cultures ajoute une valeur a` ces re´sultats. Les relations entre l’efficacite´ de soi et les autres mesures de
personnalite´ demeurent stables a` travers les cultures et les e´chantillons. Ainsi, l’efficacite´ de soi ge´ne´rale
Correspondence should be sent to Dr Aleksandra Luszczynska, Gesundheitspsychologie, Freie Universita¨t Berlin, Habelschwerdter
Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany (E-mail: email@example.com).
The authors wish to thank Judith Ba¨ßler, Matthias Jerusalem, Frederick X. Gibbons, and Mert Teko¨zel for their collaboration on
this project. This research was partially supported with BW1536/5 grant (Polish data collection).
# 2005 International Union of Psychological Science
GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY IN HUMAN FUNCTIONING
appara?ˆt eˆtre un construit universel qui produit des relations convaincantes avec les autres construits
C on base en la teor?´a social-cognitiva (Bandura, 1997), se exploro´ si la auto-eficacia percibida es un
constructo psicolo´gico universal que explica la varianza dentro de diversos dominios del funcionamiento
humano. La naturaleza de la auto-eficacia percibida no so´lo es espec?´fica de la tarea, sino que puede identificarse
en un nivel ma´s general de funcionamiento. La auto-eficacia general (AEG) es la creencia en la competencia
propia para resolver tareas nuevas y afrontar la adversidad en un amplio espectro de situaciones estresoras y
desafiantes, en contraste con la auto-eficacia espec?´fica que se restringe a una tarea particular dada. El estudio se
propuso explorar las relaciones entre la AEG y una variedad de constructos psicolo´gicos entre pa?´ses. Se
examinaron las relaciones entre la auto-eficacia general y la personalidad, el bienestar, la evaluacio´n del estre´s, las
relaciones sociales, y el desempen˜o entre 8,796 participantes de Costa Rica, Alemania, Polonia, Turqu?´a, y los
Estados Unidos. De un pa?´s a otro, los hallazgos sugieren asociaciones entre la auto-eficacia general percibida y
las variables seleccionadas. Las asociaciones positivas ma´s fuertes fueron el optimismo, la autorregulacio´n y la
autoestima, en tanto que las asociaciones negativas ma´s altas se dieron con la depresio´n y la ansiedad. Tal como
se hipotetizo´, el desempen˜o acade´mico tambie´n se asocia con la auto-eficacia. La re´plica a trave´s de idiomas y
culturas an˜ade importancia a estos hallazgos. Las relaciones entre auto-eficacia y otras medidas de personalidad
permanecen estables entre culturas y muestras. Por lo tanto, la auto-eficacia general percibida parece ser un
constructo universal que se relaciona con significado a otros constructos psicolo´gicos.
even if my partner continues to smoke’’) is of a
prospective and operative nature, which furnishes
The construct of perceived self-efficacy
this construct with additional explanatory and
predictive power in a variety of research applica-
Perceived self-efficacy is the belief in one’s
tions. In sum, perceived self-efficacy can be
competence to tackle difficult or novel tasks and
characterized mainly as being competence-based,
to cope with adversity in specific demanding situa-
prospective, and action-related, as opposed to
tions. Self-efficacy makes a difference to how
similar constructs that share only part of this
people feel, think, and act (cf. Bandura, 1997, for a
portrayal (Bandura, 1997, 1999).
review of the evidence). People with high self-
Self-efficacy is commonly understood as being
efficacy choose to perform more challenging tasks.
They set themselves higher goals and stick to them.
researchers have also conceptualized a generalized
Actions are preshaped in thought, and once an
sense of self-efficacy that refers to a global
action has been taken, highly self-efficacious
confidence in one’s coping ability across a wide
people invest more effort and persist longer than
range of demanding or novel situations (Schwarzer
those low in self-efficacy. When setbacks occur,
they recover more quickly and remain committed
Mercandante, Prentice-Dunn, Jacobs, & Rogers,
to their goals. High self-efficacy also allows people
1982). General self-efficacy (GSE) aims at a broad
to select challenging settings and explore their
and stable sense of personal competence to deal
environment or create new ones. Thus, it repre-
effectively with a variety of stressful situations. It
sents a belief in one’s competence in dealing with
might reflect a generalization across various
all kinds of demands. This implies an internal-
domains of functioning in which people judge
stable attribution of successful action and a
how efficacious they are. The present authors
prospective view. These characteristics make it a
agree with Bandura (1997) that, for the majority
unique theoretical construct different from related
of applications, perceived self-efficacy should be
ones such as self-esteem, locus of control, or self-
conceptualized in a situation-specific manner.
concept of ability. Self-esteem has an emotional
However, GSE may explain a broader range of
connotation (‘‘I feel that I have a good character’’
human behaviours and coping outcomes when the
or ‘‘I am proud of myself’’). Locus of control
context is less specific.
refers to an attribution of responsibility for out-
In the following section, variables that are
comes (internal agency versus external causation),
hypothesized to be conceptually related to self-
and self-concept of ability pertains to a judgment
efficacy are described. In the subsequent Method
of one’s competence (‘‘I am good at math’’)
section, operationalizations for these variables
without reference to any subsequent action. Only
that were employed in the present research are
self-efficacy (‘‘I am certain that I can quit smoking
´ RREZ-DON˜A, SCHWARZER
Self-efficacy and related constructs
The present study aims to explore the relations
Self-efficacy describes individuals’ beliefs in
between GSE and a variety of other psychological
their capabilities to exercise control over challen-
constructs. Therefore, it is described here why
ging demands and over their own functioning. In
and how certain variables should be related to
contrast, self-regulation refers to any effort by an
individual to alter his or her own responses,
people are considered to be self-organizing, self-
overriding impulses, and substituting them with
reflective, self-regulative, and to make judgments
another response that leads the person’s behaviour
about themselves based on their own activity.
towards a selected aim (cf. Luszczynska, Diehl,
Moreover, self-efficacy beliefs influence personal
Gutie´rrez-Don˜a, Kuusinen, & Schwarzer, 2004a).
motivational processes, affect, and behaviours,
and they should be related to certain personality
expected to be highly self-efficacious.
characteristics as well as to stress perception,
Social comparison orientation is a tendency to
life satisfaction, and achievements throughout
compare oneself with others in different areas of
different areas of functioning (Bandura, 1997).
life (Gibbons & Buunk, 1999). The tendency to
make social comparisons involves uncertainty
Self-efficacy and personality. Persons with low
self-efficacy have low self-esteem and harbour
oriented people assess their own ability on the
pessimistic thoughts about their accomplishments
basis of other people’s judgments, not their own
beliefs about personal capabilities (Gibbons &
and personal development (Bandura, 1997). Self-
Buunk, 1999). Therefore, it might be expected that
esteem refers to a conviction about one’s worth,
GSE beliefs should remain either negatively
whereas self-efficacy pertains to judgments of
related or unrelated to the tendency to make
Individuals with high self-esteem should have
high self-efficacy, since they undertake more
Self-efficacy and stress appraisals. Self-efficacy
challenging goals than those with low self-esteem
determines the cognitive appraisal of stressful
(Bandura, 1997). Self-regulation among persons
situations (Bandura, 1997). People with strong
with high self-esteem works more efficiently
self-efficacy recognize that they are able to over-
because the belief in potential capabilities enables
come obstacles and focus on opportunities, and,
individuals to achieve ambitious goals.
therefore, they perceive stressful situations as more
Similar to self-efficacy, optimism is theorized
challenging than those who harbour self-doubts
to influence human behaviour through its effect
about their ability to overcome difficulties (cf.
on goal striving and motivation. As a disposition,
Jerusalem & Schwarzer, 1992).
it is expected that optimism has relevance across
diverse situations. Optimism is a generalized
related to positive and negative emotions. One of
Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994). Optimists,
the sources of self-efficacy is emotional arousal, that
who hold positive expectancies for their future,
is, one may experience a low level of negative emo-
should also harbour optimistic beliefs about
tions in a threatening situation and, as a result, may
their own ability to accomplish various goals.
feel capable of mastering the situation (Bandura,
The pursuit lasts as long as optimistic beliefs
1997). Self-efficacy leads to effective problem
about possible success (that is, self-efficacy) are
solving, followed by increase of positive emotions.
sufficiently favourable (cf. Scheier et al., 1994).
A low sense of self-efficacy is associated with
Future orientation is defined as a general
negative emotions and helplessness. Persons who
preoccupation with the future or future events,
are burdened with a belief of self-inefficacy suffer
and the ability to plan for the future (Strathman,
distress and negative emotions, such as anxiety and
Gleicher, Boninger, & Edwards, 1994). Persons
depression (cf. Bandura, 1997; Schwarzer, 1992).
with high future orientation are characterized as
pursuing their goals and engaging in daily plan-
Self-efficacy, achievements, and social relations.
ning of their activities, and preferring a problem-
A strong sense of competence facilitates informa-
solving approach (cf. Strathman et al., 1994).
tion processing and performance in a variety of
Those who are highly future-oriented believe in
settings, including quality of decision-making and
their own ability to produce a desired effect and
academic achievement (Bandura, 1997). Those who
to lead a more active and self-determined life.
are high in self-efficacy are more successful in
GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY IN HUMAN FUNCTIONING
solving conceptual problems at school or at work
(Bandura, 1997, 1999). Self-efficacy can enhance
(n55106), Poland (n5660), Turkey (n5626), and
motivation. Involvement in different social activ-
the USA (n5539). In Costa Rica and Germany,
ities as well as personal aspirations and school
several samples in each country were collected and
achievement depend on an individual’s beliefs
combined. In all cases, samples cannot be pre-
about their own capabilities. High efficacy beliefs
sumed to be representative for the population in
are also related to the expansion of satisfying social
relations that bring about life satisfaction to
In Poland, Turkey, and the USA, participants
an individual (Bandura, 1997). Therefore, social
were students who were recruited in schools and
quality of life and satisfaction with accomplish-
who responded to the questionnaires after class.
Data were collected at six high schools from the
urban areas of Lublin and Warsaw in Poland, four
high schools in Ames, Iowa, USA, and seven high
schools in Izmir, in Turkey (cf. Luszczynska,
Associations between self-efficacy and
Gibbons, Piko, & Tekozel, 2004b).
related constructs across cultures
In Germany and Costa Rica, the composition of
General self-efficacy is a universal construct,
participants was more diverse. Three German
which means that it characterizes a basic belief
samples were combined. The first sample includes
that is inherent in all individuals. A cross-cultural
East German migrants who moved to the West
commonality of beliefs about efficacy to produce
after the German reunification in 1989, and others
effects by personal action might be expected
who remained in East Germany (Schwarzer,
(Bandura, 2002). Therefore, it might be assumed
Hahn, & Jerusalem, 1993). There were no sub-
that associations between self-efficacy and related
stantial differences between the two groups in the
constructs might be similar across the cultures.
variables under investigation, and therefore they
These assumptions, however, have not been tested
were treated as one homogeneous sample. The
so far across countries that differ in social,
second German sample consists of schoolteachers
economical, and cultural background.
from various German states who participated
in a project called ‘‘Self-Efficacious Schools’’
The present study examines the hypothesized
relations between GSE and the variables that have
German sample includes high school students
been described in the previous section. According
from the same schools as in the second German
to social-cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997), GSE
sample. The first Costa Rican sample consists of
should be related to selected personality or
individual difference variables, negative and posi-
Kwiatek, Schro¨der, & Zhang, 1997a), and the
tive affectivity, quality of life, school or job
second of factory workers employed by two
performance, and satisfaction, as portrayed above.
It was hypothesized that associations between self-
efficacy and related constructs should be similar in
Table 1 displays the number and the mean age
different cultures. Countries included in the study
of participants, broken down by nation and gender.
represent three continents, and they might vary in
terms of culture, in ways that reflect their
differences in economic development, religion,
and current and previous social and political
Respondents did not receive any compensation for
their participation in the study. The questionnaires
developed countries (Germany and USA) from
different regions of the world, a post-communist
research team members, who were responsible
developing country (Poland), a developing country
for ensuring confidentiality and who responded to
from Latin America (Costa Rica), and an Asian
developing country (Turkey).
The German version of the General Self-Efficacy
Schwarzer in 1979, originally consisted of 20
The GSE scale was completed by 8796 respon-
items. In 1981, it was reduced to 10 items and
dents, both men (47.2%) and women, in five
´ RREZ-DON˜A, SCHWARZER
Number of participants, mean age and mean General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) scores broken down by country and gender
Mean (SD) age
Mean (SD) GSES
Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995). A typical item is,
samples. Measures were selected that have an
‘‘Thanks to my resourcefulness, I can handle
English version as well as a language version for a
unforeseen situations.’’ Scoring is done by adding
respective country. Only measures with good
the responses made to the 10 items. Possible
psychometric properties across the language ver-
responses were 1 5 not at all true, 2 5 hardly
sions were included. Names of scales, item
true, 3 5 moderately true, and 4 5 exactly true,
examples, numbers of items, response format,
yielding a total score between 10 and 40. Bilingual
and Cronbach’s alphas for all samples are shown
native speakers adapted the 10 self-efficacy items
in Table 2. The psychometric properties of the
to foreign languages, based on the German and
English versions of the GSE scale (cf. Scholz,
psychometric properties of the German, Spanish,
Gutie´rrez-Don˜a, Sud, & Schwarzer, 2002). The
Polish, and Turkish versions were analysed in
model,’’ with several bilingual translators partici-
included in the study had obtained satisfactory
pating. The procedure included back translations
validity and reliability. Missing values were treated
and group discussions.
by pairwise deletion.
High reliability, stability, and construct validity
of the GSE scale were confirmed in several studies
(Leganger, Kraft, & Røysamb, 2000; Schwarzer
et al., 1997a; Schwarzer & Born, 1997; Schwarzer,
Born, Iwawaki, Lee, Saito, & Yue, 1997b;
GSE and personality
Schwarzer, Mueller, & Greenglass, 1999). The
According to the structural features described
GSE scale appears to be configurally equivalent
above, it was expected that GSE should be related
across 28 nations, and it corresponds to only one
to constructs described in personality theories that
global dimension. The assumption of unidimen-
refer to self-regulatory beliefs. The correlation
sionality was supported by confirmatory factor
analysis (Leganger et al., 2000; Scholz et al., 2002).
Figure 1. As expected, optimism, self-regulation,
The following Cronbach’s alphas were obtained
self-esteem, and orientation towards the future
for the GSE scale: .85 (workers from Costa Rica),
were positively related to GSE. The coefficients
.90 (students from Costa Rica), .88 (East German
were moderate to low. The relationship between
migrants), .86 (German teachers), .79 (German
GSE and self-regulation was significant, positive,
students), .81 (Polish students), .79 (American
and strong. Relations between GSE and the social
students), .82 (Turkish students). Means and
standard deviations of the scale, broken down by
comparison orientation were nonsignificant.
gender and country, are displayed in Table 1.
A set of measures to assess personality variables,
GSE and affect
positive and negative affect, quality of life, life
satisfaction, stress appraisals, and social relation-
As hypothesized, positive correlations between
ships/achievements, was chosen for each of the
GSE and positive affect measured with subscales
GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY IN HUMAN FUNCTIONING
Description of personality, positive and negative emotions, stress appraisal, and social relationships measures
Used in sample
(Name of measure or item example)
Dispositional Optimism (LOT–R; Gutie´rrez-Don˜a,
1, 2, 3, 5
2003; Scheier et al., 1994; Wieland-Eckelmann &
Self-esteem scale (Feffing & Filipp, 1996;
Future orientedness (The Consideration of Future
6, 7, 8
Consequences [shortened]; Luszczynska et al.,
2004b; Strathman et al., 1994)
Self-regulation (Luszczynska et al., 2004a)
Social comparison tendencies (Scale of Social
6, 7, 8
Comparison Orientation; Gibbons & Buunk,
1999; Luszczynska et al., 2004b)
Positive and negative affect
Anxiety (Hopkins Symptoms Checklist; Derogatis,
1, 2, 3, 5
Lipman, Rickels, Uhlenhuth, & Covi, 1974;
Depression (Hopkins Symptoms Checklist;
1, 2, 3, 5
Derogatis et al., 1974; Gutie´rrez-Don˜a, 2003)
Negative affect (PANAS; Gutie´rrez-Don˜a, 2003;
Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988)
Positive affect (PANAS; Gutie´rrez-Don˜a 2003;
Watson et al., 1988)
Anger (STPI, trait–anger subscale; Schwarzer &
Schwarzer, 1982; Spielberger, 1979)
Quality of life (psychological aspect; QoL–BREF,
Power, Bullinger, Harber, & WHOQoL-group,
1999; Gutie´rrez-Don˜a, 2003)
Life satisfaction (The Satisfaction with Life Scale;
6, 7, 8
Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985)
Challenge (Cognitive Appraisal Scale; Gutie´rrez-
2, 4, 5
Don˜a, 2003; Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995)
Quality of Life (social; QoL–BREF; Gutie´rrez-
Don˜a, 2003; Power et al., 1999)
School grades (‘‘What grades do you usually get in
6, 7, 8
Job satisfaction (job satisfaction items from Job
2, 4, 5
Diagnostic Survey; Gutie´rrez-Don˜a, 2003;
Hackman & Oldham, 1975)
aSample numbers: 15university students, Costa Rica; 25workers, Costa Rica; 35East Germans; 45German teachers; 55German
high-school students; 65Polish high-school students; 75Turkish high-school students; 85high-school students in the USA.
bDifferences in correlation coefficients between samples: x2 for at least three samples; Z for two samples.
of the PANAS and Quality of Life questionnaires
values of the correlation coefficients for the
were found. Strong efficacy beliefs were related
samples are displayed in Figure 2.
to higher life satisfaction. GSE was negatively
GSE, stress appraisals, and social
that assess anxiety, depression, anger, and nega-
tive affect. Quality of life correlated positively
with self-efficacy. The relationships between GSE,
As hypothesized, GSE was positively related to
affect, and quality of life were all significant with a
low to moderate range of coefficients. Absolute
The correlation coefficient (the absolute value is
´ RREZ-DON˜A, SCHWARZER
Figure 1. Correlation coefficients (absolute value) between General Self-Efficacy (GSE) and personality. * p,.05,
*** p,.001, for all countries.
Figure 2. Correlation coefficients (absolute value) between General Self-Efficacy (GSE) and affect, psychological
aspect of quality of life, and life satisfaction. * p,.05, for all countries.
displayed in Figure 3) was moderate. For further
result patterns were found irrespective of the
examination, measures of social aspects of quality
of life, school grades, and job (or school) satisfac-
Relations between self-efficacy and the other
tion were chosen (cf. Figure 3). In line with the
variables differ across samples. To examine this
expectations, GSE was positively related to quality
issue, the between-samples differences of correla-
of life (social aspect), job satisfaction or satisfac-
tion with school, and school grades. The same
related constructs were calculated (cf. Table 2).
GENERAL SELF-EFFICACY IN HUMAN FUNCTIONING
Figure 3. Correlation coefficients (absolute value) between General Self-Efficacy (GSE) and stress appraisal and social
relationships. * p,.05, for all countries.
Correlation coefficients differed only in size, not in
growing body of evidence, high self-efficacy is
expected to be related to low negative affect, high
positive affect, higher achievement, and more
life satisfaction. The relations between GSE and
positive and negative affect obtained in the present
study were similar to previous findings. Among
Across countries, general self-efficacy was related
Norwegian adolescents, Leganger et al. (2000)
to the selected constructs, as hypothesized. The
found significant correlations between this GSE
correlations between GSE and personality factors
scale and positive affect and life satisfaction,
such as optimism, self-regulation, orientation
and reverse coefficients with negative affect. In
towards the future, and self-esteem remained
significant and mostly in the moderate range.
two other German longitudinal samples (obese
Therefore, the amount of variance shared between
women and residents of senior citizen homes),
these variables was moderate.
GSE was consistently moderately related to
Self-appraisal through social comparisons is
depression and anxiety (cf. Schwarzer, 1993).
seen as a way to raise or weaken self-efficacy
Analysing data from cardiac surgery patients,
beliefs. Individuals who perceive themselves as
Schro¨der, Schwarzer, and Konertz (1998) found
performing better than others have higher self-
that patients with high GSE had recovered better
efficacy than those who perceive themselves as
1 week after surgery and experienced better quality
performing worse than others (Bandura, 1997). In
of life half a year later than their low GSE
the present study, correlations between GSE and
social comparison orientation were negligible. The
GSE was related to the appraisal of stressful
Scale of Social Comparison Orientation measures
situations as challenges. The positive relations
the general tendency to compare oneself with
between self-efficacy and stress appraisals were
others, without any reference to the direction of
also found in other samples. As has been demon-
such comparisons. Some individuals might gen-
strated in a laboratory experiment, persons with
erate more upward comparisons, others more
high GSE perceived stressful anagram tasks as
downward comparisons. This might result in a
being more challenging than low GSE individuals
lack of significant relations between the general
did (Jerusalem & Schwarzer, 1992).
tendency to produce social comparisons and GSE.
Workers with higher social life satisfaction and
The nonsignificant relation between GSE and
higher job satisfaction and students with higher
social comparison orientation suggests that indi-
school achievements had high GSE scale scores.
viduals reported their self-efficacy irrespective of
These results are in line with other studies
their need for social approval.
regarding social relationships that provide further
The second group of variables consisted of
confirmation of the validity of the GSE measure.
measures of positive and negative affect, life
In a study among East German refugees, those
satisfaction, and quality of life. As mentioned
with high GSE were socially better integrated and
before, according to both the theory and the
more frequently employed 2 years after the
´ RREZ-DON˜A, SCHWARZER
stressful transition than their low GSE counter-
research should also aim at testing the relations
parts (Schwarzer et al., 1993).
between GSE and task-specific self-efficacy.
Other studies on GSE and personality, affect,
Regardless of discrepancies between countries,
and social relationships, in which other measures
some conclusions might be drawn. All hypothe-
of GSE were used, showed moderate associations
sized relations between self-efficacy and other
with personal control, ego strength, self-esteem
variables were confirmed by the data. The
(Lennings, 1994; Sherer et al., 1982), and mental
coefficients were different, but of low or moderate
health (Hays & Buckle, 1992). GSE was also
size, except for the relation between self-efficacy
related to school or university accomplishments,
and self-regulation. GSE is connected to a broad
although the relationships remained low in most
range of psychological constructs pertaining to
cases (Lennings, 1994). General self-efficacy is a
various domains of human functioning, and it may
very close concept to hope, which taps the self-
be a useful addition to task-specific self-efficacy
referential, cross-situational beliefs that the person
measures in future studies within and across
will initiate and continue goal-directed actions (cf.
Snyder, 2002). Further studies should address the
Manuscript received September 2003
relations between these two constructs.
Revised manuscript accepted February 2004
The hypothesis regarding similar associations
between self-efficacy and related constructs across
the countries was only partially supported. The
present study shows that relations between GSE
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of
control. New York: Freeman.
and other variables remained at different magni-
Bandura, A. (1999). A social cognitive theory of
tudes, depending on the sample. These results are
personality. In L. Pervin & O. John (Eds.).
in line with Triandis’ (1977) model, suggesting that
Handbook of personality (2nd ed., pp. 154–196),
cognitions and social determinants of behaviours
New York: Guilford Press.
(and relations between them) are influenced by
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