Roosevelt Rough Writers and the Quest for Writing Self-Efficacy

Lydia Blaine, University of Portland

Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

Abstract

Selfefficacy, the belief an individual has about their ability to accomplish specific tasks, can be affected by four primary sources, which are performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and psychological state (Bandura, Barbarenelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 1996; Arslan, 2012). Previous research has found that writing centers have relationships with increased selfefficacy (Williams & Takaku, 2011; Schmidt & Alexander, 2012). Based on this existing preliminary research, the current study hypothesized that students who use the Writing Center at Roosevelt High School will have higher writing selfefficacy than students who do not use this Writing Center. A Background Information Questionnaire and a modified Academic SelfEfficacy Scale were administered to current students at Roosevelt High School. Statistical tests were used to explore the relationships between various demographic information as well as Writing Center attendance and responses to the Academic SelfEfficacy Scale. No significant relationships were found between Writing Center attendance and Academic SelfEfficacy Scale responses, but there was a statistically significant positive relationship between age and the number of languages spoken. The majority of the responses (although not statistically significant) followed the general trend predicted by the hypothesis, so future research could potentially find significant relationships between increased Writing Center attendance and increased writing selfefficacy. Future research would need to overcome the limitations of the current study, including recruiting more participants, adding a control group, and using a longitudinal design to measure writing selfefficacy at the beginning of high school rather than asking participants to report what they believe their writing selfefficacy was at that point.