Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 361–386 | Cite as

Chinese undergraduates’ sources of self-efficacy differ by sibling status, achievement, and fear of failure along two pathways

  • Shengjie Lin
  • Carlton J. Fong
  • Yidan Wang


This mixed-methods study investigated the sources of self-efficacy reported by Chinese undergraduate students and the related role of individual differences. One hundred and fifty-six Chinese students completed a questionnaire and open-ended responses, citing the factors that contributed to feelings of greater confidence and lesser confidence. After qualitatively coding their responses, we found that students shared diverse perspectives regarding antecedents of what made them more and less confident. Quantitative analyses revealed differences in the types and frequencies of sources of self-efficacy when considering increases or decreases in confidence, and individual characteristics such as GPA, only child status, and fear of failure. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Chinese undergraduates Sources of self-efficacy Self-efficacy Fear of failure Only children Academic achievement 



We wish to acknowledge members of Shengjie Lin’s thesis committee Diane L. Schallert and Toni Falbo for helpful comments regarding the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational AdministrationUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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