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Self-Efficacy Is Mainly Genetic, Not Learned: A Multiple-Rater Twin Study on the Causal Structure of General Self-Efficacy in Young People

  • Trine Waaktaar (a1) and Svenn Torgersen (a1) (a2)
Abstract

Social learning theory postulates that self-efficacy is learned through the person's interaction with his/her physical and social environment. In this genetically informative, population-based, multi-informant study of 1,394 adolescent twin pairs, self-efficacy was modeled as one latent psychometric self-efficacy factor with genetic and environmental effects common to all informants, as well as for effects specific for each informant. The results showed that 75% of variation in self-efficacy was due to genetic factors. Non-shared environmental causes explained the remaining 25% of the variance in the latent factor, with no effect of common environment. Some informant-specific effects were also found. The present study challenges the theoretical assumption of learning as the dominant etiological factor behind self-efficacy in young people.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Trine Waaktaar, Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Oslo, RBUP Eastern and Southern Norway, 4623 Nydalen, 0405 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: trine.waaktaar@r-bup.no
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
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