Genetic testing and the relationship between specific and general self-efficacy

Br J Health Psychol. 2006 May;11(Pt 2):221-33. doi: 10.1348/135910705X52543.


The study examined the extent to which variations in health-specific self-efficacy could affect general self-efficacy. In a repeated measures design, 300 participants were administered an efficacy questionnaire, before and after an alleged news report, aimed at increasing or decreasing self-efficacy over genetic-testing decision making. The results found that self-efficacy over testing was significantly reduced after reading the negative news report in those participants who felt personal efficacy over testing decisions was important. Levels of general self-efficacy were also significantly decreased. The findings suggest that being denied control over a specific area of self-efficacy can have a wider impact, with a lack of perceived efficacy over testing decision making adversely impacting on levels of general well-being. The wider implications of this generalization effect and the processes involved in efficacy generalization are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / psychology*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires