Self-efficacy beliefs and change in cognitive performance: MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging

Psychol Aging. 1996 Sep;11(3):538-51. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.11.3.538.


Data from a cohort of relatively high functioning, older men and women were used to test the hypothesis that stronger self-efficacy beliefs predict better maintenance of cognitive performance. Structural equation modeling revealed that stronger baseline instrumental efficacy beliefs predicted better verbal memory performance at follow-up among men but not among women, controlling for baseline verbal memory score and sociodemographic and health status characteristics. For both men and women there were no significant associations between either type of self-efficacy beliefs and measures of nonverbal memory, abstraction, or spatial ability. Consistent with previous research showing relationship between baseline cognitive performance and change in self-efficacy beliefs, better abstraction ability was also predictive of increase in instrumental efficacy beliefs among the men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Sex Factors