Developmental and Gender Differences in Elementary Students’ Self-Regulation, Self-Efficacy, and Sources of Self-Efficacy in Mathematics: An Exploratory Study




Lau, Christina

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The purpose of this study is to examine the developmental differences of elementary students’ self-regulation, self-efficacy, and sources of self-efficacy, and to assess whether these variables differ as a function of gender across grade levels. Participants in this study included 442 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students from U.S. International Baccalaureate schools. Self-report measures were used to assess students’ self-regulation (i.e., Perceived Responsibility for Learning Scale), self-efficacy, and sources of selfefficacy in mathematics. The results of this exploratory study showed that mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasions, and physiological states accounted for a significant amount of variance in students’ mathematics self-efficacy. Social persuasions were the strongest predictor of mathematics self-efficacy. Boys reported stronger perceived responsibility, mastery experiences, social persuasions, and physiological states than did girls. Mastery experiences were the strongest indicator of mathematics self-efficacy for girls. Limitations and implications for future research and practice are discussed.



Self-regulation, Self-efficacy, Mathematics, Elementary students, Development, Gender differences