Correlates of Pathways Between School Climate and Self-Efficacy: A Study of Tenth and Eleventh Graders in a Public School
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Elementary and middle school students’ sense of self-efficacy-their belief in their abilities to achieve at desirable levels on school-related tasks-has been empirically found to be significantly related to the school climate in which it is nurtured. A paucity of research exists about the relationship between self-efficacy and school climate among high school students, however. This gap in the research is problematic as self-efficacy and school climate are important correlates of student achievement and both begin to decline as students move through middle school and into high school. This study examines the association between high school students’ perceptions of a triad of widely adopted domains of school climate-teaching and learning, interpersonal relationships, and the institutional environment of the school-and their beliefs in three complementary domains of self-efficacy-academic, emotional, and social self-efficacy. This cross-sectional correlational study used survey research to capture data on perceptions of school climate and self-efficacy beliefs from 10th- and 11th-graders (N = 60) at an urban high school in Texas. A Spearman’s rho correlational analysis revealed a single significant positive correlation with a medium effect size between students’ perceptions of the institutional environment domain of school climate and their beliefs in their emotional self-efficacy. The study’s findings suggest that other factors may mediate/moderate the relationship between the domains of school climate and self-efficacy under study, although the robustness of these conclusions must be qualified due to sampling issues that arose during the data capture.