Date of Award
College of Health and Human Services
Reed Mueller, Ph.D.
The objective of this research was to assess differences in academic self-efficacy between demographic classifications, with special regard to differences between first- and continuing-generation college students. Additionally, I explored the relationship between levels of academic self-efficacy and perceived stress within the academic domain. Bandura (1997) coined the term self-efficacy to refer to the individual’s belief that they can take necessary action in order to achieve their goals. In this thesis, I aimed to measure the success of a written academic self-efficacy intervention within a college freshman sample, but the lack of sufficient matched pairs led me to modify the secondary hypothesis to instead measure the changes in academic self-efficacy between two time intervals. Regarding the primary hypotheses, the analyses revealed no significant relationship between academic self-efficacy and generational status, nor a correlation between academic self-efficacy scores and perceived stress scores. However, additional analyses were conducted to identify gender and race/ethnicity as areas of interest in student stress outcomes, as female participants and students of color reported significantly higher stress levels. This research was limited by a small sample size and limited generalizability. I made future recommendations to address these disparities and apply this information in a productive capacity.