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 Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Victoria.

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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.

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ID Code: 37815
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Abstact published, available online at
Keywords: self-efficacy, adult learners, narrative constructivist model, self-regulation, narrative analysis
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Jan du Preez
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2010 21:49
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:21

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