Discussion: Applying the Self-Efficacy Theory

Health Behavior Theory

Have you ever tried to change a behavior, such as starting a walking routine after a period of being sedentary? Perhaps you convinced yourself this was something you could do because you had already mastered another good habit, such as giving up sweets. Put simply, your earlier success gave you the confidence to succeed at something else.

This is the premise of the Self-Efficacy Theory, identified as an intrapersonal theory. In essence, it centers on the idea that an individual’s belief that he or she can accomplish something is critical to attempting it. Self-Efficacy Theory includes the constructs of mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and somatic and emotional states, which are defined in your Learning Resources.

Like most theories and models, however, the Self-Efficacy Theory cannot be unilaterally applied the same way to all individuals in all populations. Other factors enter the equation and must be taken into consideration. For example, how might gender, age, socioeconomic status, self-esteem, or other factors affect one’s beliefs?

For this Discussion, you apply the Self-Efficacy Theory to different populations using the health behavior examples provided.

To prepare:

Focus on Hayden (2019), Chapter 2, “The Feasibility of an Intervention Combining Self-Efficacy Theory and Wii Fit Exergames in Assisted Living Residents” (pp. 19–30).
Reflect on your individual Strength Finder strengths discovered in PUBH/HLTH 8003 or PUBH/HLTH 6005.

Using the Self-Efficacy Theory example from Hayden (2019), Chapter 2, change the target group from older adults to middle schoolers and describe how the application might change. Then, describe how, when exposed to stress and challenges, Self-Efficacy Theory might influence one of your strengths from your individual Strength Finder (from PUBH/HLTH 8003 or PUBH/HLTH 6005).