Sources of self-efficacy in mathematics: A validation study

Ellen L. Usher, Frank Pajares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

318 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to develop and validate items with which to assess A. Bandura's (1997) theorized sources of self-efficacy among middle school mathematics students. Results from Phase 1 (N = 1111) were used to develop and refine items for subsequent use. In Phase 2 of the study (N = 824), a 39-item, four-factor exploratory model fit best. Items were revised to strengthen psychometric properties. In Phase 3 (N = 803), a 24-item, four-factor confirmatory factor model fit best. This final model was invariant across gender and ethnicity. Subscales correlated with self-efficacy, self-concept, mastery goals, and optimism. Results suggest that the sources scale is psychometrically sound and could be adapted for use in other domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Mathematics
  • Middle school
  • Motivation
  • Self-efficacy beliefs
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Sources of self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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