The Influence of Attributions on Self-efficacy
University of Wales
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The purpose of the current investigation was to explore the influence of attributions on self-efficacy levels of female footballers in a naturally occurring sport setting. Five female footballers were purposefully selected to take part in the study. An initial football specific efficacy questionnaire was administered to each player upon selection for the study to gage current levels of self-efficacy, before completing subsequent efficacy questionnaires longitudinally after three competitive matches. Participants also took part in a short, semi-structured interview after completing the questionnaire to discuss reasons for efficacy ratings in the form of attributions. A content analysis of interview responses utilising both inductive and deductive methods was employed allowing for exploration of theory driven concepts as well the discovery of undiscovered patterns. The results indicated that internal and stable attributions caused increases in, or maintained high levels of, self-efficacy. The controllability dimension was found to be influential when explaining variations in efficacy levels over time. Finally, interactive effects were found between causes in the locus of causality dimension, suggesting that internalisation is enhanced when external attributions are considered. The findings suggest that when desirable attributes are employed, higher levels of efficacy are facilitated. Therefore, coaches and sports psychologists should encourage athletes to utilise productive attributions independently, in the form of reflective practise. It is important that players become adept at forming these attributions in order to facilitative higher levels of efficacy and, consequently, benefit performance. Future research should further explore the attribution-efficacy relationship utilising longitudinal methods with a range of athletes, sports and standards, ranging from elite to novice sportsman in an attempt to further the understanding and applicability of findings.
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