Faculty Publications

Title

College student retention: An exploration of the relationship between self-efficacy beliefs and purpose in life among college students

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of College Student Development

Volume

50

Issue

1

First Page

19

Last Page

34

Abstract

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.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2009

DOI of published version

10.1353/csd.0.0049

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