Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Measure of College-Going Self-Efficacy for Middle School Students

Researchers: Melinda M. Gibbons, The University of Tennessee- Knoxville, and L. DiAnne Borders, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Source (Journal name, date of publication):

Professional School Counseling—April 2010—Volume 13

What was the purpose of this research?

The authors developed and tested psychometrics of the College-Going Self-Efficacy Scale (CGSES), designed to measure middle-school students’ college-going beliefs.

If applicable, who were the participants, and what were they asked to do?

Data was collected in three phases. First, 22 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades completed a short demographic form, four surveys related to college-going beliefs, including the CGSES, and readability surveys for each survey. Second, a sample of 272 seventh-grade students from four middle schools returned consent forms and parent surveys and completed the CGSES. Third, 18 seventh-graders took the CGSES and then re-took the survey three weeks later.

Major findings or points:

The validity and reliability of the CGSES was found to be adequate and participants reported that the measure was clearly-written and an appropriate length.

Major caveats:

Although this study was conducted on a diverse group of students, additional studies would further support use of the CGSES. One question on the instrument had a complex sentence structure and was removed sue to low correlation with the other items.

What does this research mean for counseling practice, settings, and/or training?

The CGSES can be used as a needs assessment for early identification of students who have lower expectations of their college-going abilities, which is a negative indicator of college success. Analysis of individual response items allows counselors to identify specific areas of concern related to college-going self-efficacy and can be used as an individual planning tool. Counselors could work to improve students’ overall self-efficacy or challenge low scores on individual items.

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