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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Development and Validation of the Singapore Secondary Mathematics Self-Efficacy Scale

  • Author(s): Ling, Siao Charn
  • Advisor(s): Worrell, Frank C
  • et al.

To understand the influence of self-efficacy on academic achievement, it is first necessary to assess the construct with reliability and validity. Although this has been done extensively in the Western context, studies on the reliability and validity of self-efficacy scores in Asian contexts have been scarce. The goal of this study is to develop a Mathematics self-efficacy scale with sound psychometric properties that can be used in future studies to advance our knowledge on the nature of self-efficacy in different cultural contexts. In this study, I described the development of a mathematics self-efficacy scale and present data on the reliability and structural validity of the scores in a sample of Singaporean adolescents (N = 1, 572). Results indicated that scale scores had strong internal consistency. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses suggested that there were two related but distinguishable self-efficacy variables: content-specific and general. There was also evidence for convergent validity, given the significant and positive correlations between the self-efficacy scores and related constructs. As was found in other studies, the difference between gender and the three self-efficacy scores was statistically but not practically significant for content-specific self-efficacy; there was not statistical difference in the general or combined self-efficacy scores. Finally, regression analyses suggested that self-efficacy scores made significant contributions to mathematics grade, even after taking into account the contributions of past achievement and other attitudinal constructs. Further research is needed to address the limitations and to ascertain the generalizability of these findings.

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