College student retention: An exploration of the relationship between self-efficacy beliefs and purpose in life among college students
Journal of College Student Development
We investigated the association between Frankl's (1985, 1988) construct of purpose in life with Bandura's (1977, 1997) theory of self-efficacy as a possible predictor of students who may be at risk for leaving school. For this study, 344 undergraduate college students (233 females, 111 males; 76% White/Caucasian, 10% Asian American/Asian, 7% African American/African, 5% multiracial/multicultural or other, 2% non-White/Hispanic; 79% freshmen, 13% sophomores, 4% juniors, 3% seniors, 1% unspecified grade/year level) completed the Purpose in Life Test, Part A (Crumbaugh & Maholick, 1964); the College Self-Efficacy Inventory (Solberg, O'Brien, Villarreal, Kennel, & Davis, 1993); the Scale of Perceived Social Self-Efficacy (Smith & Betz, 2000); the General Self-Efficacy Subscale of the Self-Efficacy Scale (Sherer et al., 1982); and finally, the Marlowe- Crowne Social Desirability Scale (Crowne &Marlow, 1960). All of the variables of selfefficacy were significantly (p < .01) and positively correlated with purpose in life. Regression analysis revealed that general self-efficacy was the most significant predictor of Purpose in Life scores. The current study lends support to the idea of creating interventions based on self-efficacy theory in order to positively influence students' subjective sense of purpose in life for the purpose of improving college student retention.
Department of Psychology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Dewitz, S. Joseph; Woolsey, M. Lynn; and Walsh, W. Bruce, "College student retention: An exploration of the relationship between self-efficacy beliefs and purpose in life among college students" (2009). Faculty Publications. 2322.