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Self–efficacy, collective efficacy and the psychological well–being of groups in transition
The rapid rate of urbanisation, which is characteristic of the current South African context, could have important consequences for the psychological and physiological health of individuals (Malan et al., 2008; Vorster et al., 2000). Communities in transition face challenges that influence every component of human functioning (Choabi & Wissing, 2000; Malan et al., 2008; Van Rooyen et al., 2002; Vorster et al., 2000). Self-efficacy and collective efficacy are among constructs that have been shown to contribute to psychological well-being, and can serve as buffers that could make this process of adaption easier for communities in the process of urbanisation (Bandura, 1997; Karademas, 2006; Sui, Lu, & Spector, 2007). Previously, a variety of studies have focused on self-efficacy and collective efficacy in other Western and Eastern contexts. There is however little information on the impact that these constructs have within an African context, and• especially on the well-being of individuals finding themselves in these communities in transition. As it has been demonstrated that contextual and cultural factors may influence the manifestation of psychological well-being (Cohen, Inagami, & Finch, 2008; Temane & Wissing, 2008; Wissing, & Temane, 2008; Wissing, Wissing, Du Toit, & Temane, 2006), more context-specific research is called for. Increased knowledge of self-efficacy and collective efficacy and how it manifests the African context could help with the promotion of the psychological well-being of groups in transition. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the differential influence of self-and collective efficacy on the psychological well-being of :individuals within a community in transition. Participants were selected from a traditionally more collectivistic South-African cultural context. The research sample consisted of 1050 Setswana-speaking participants from both urban and rural areas. They completed measures including Community Collective Efficacy Scale (abridged) (CCES) (Carroll, Rosson, & Zhou, 2005), the Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1993), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) and the Affectometer 2 (short version) (AFM) (Kammann & Flett, 1983). The SWLS and AFM were used to measure the psychological well-being on cognitive judgemental and affective levels respectively. Descriptive statistics shed some light on the levels of self efficacy, collective efficacy and psychological well-being within this community. Correlation analysis was done to test the relationship between self-efficacy, collective efficacy and psychological well-being, and regression analysis was conducted to show the degree to which self-efficacy and collective efficacy successfully predict the levels of psychological wellbeing in rural and urban contexts. Available literature (e.g., Klassen, 2004) suggests that collective values and shared beliefs would be more important to individuals within rural areas because of assumed traditional collectivistic orientation, and that individuals from urban areas will take on more individualistic values as urbanisation takes place. To test this assumption, it was hypothesized that collective efficacy would be a better predictor of psychological well-being than self-efficacy in the rural context, and that self-efficacy will be a better predictor of psychological well-being than collective efficacy in the urban context. The results indicated that although the group as a whole experience slightly lower psychological well-being than that reported in previous studies, it seemed that psychological well-being might actually increase as urbanisation takes place. Satisfaction with life (SWL) seemed to be more strongly associated with urbanisation than affective well-being. The rural group's considerably lower SWL could possibly be explained by the perception of these individuals that people living in an urban environment have a better quality of life. While the level of self-efficacy reported for the group as a whole was found to be comparable, albeit lower than results from previous studies, there were no relevant studies with which to compare our participant group's level of collective efficacy. Individuals living in an urban setting reported higher levels of self-efficacy and collective efficacy compared to the rural group This might indicate that individuals who move from a rural to an urban setting do not necessarily adopt individualistic values at the cost of their collectivistic cultural orientation, and in fact have more confidence in their individual and conjoint capabilities to achieve their goals. It was found that a significant relationship seemed to exist between self-efficacy, collective efficacy and the measures of psychological well-being, which suggests a dynamic interplay between these two constructs. Results showed that these individuals' beliefs in their individual ability, self-actualization and personal identity are important for their maintained well-being, and is strongly linked to their shared beliefs in the group's conjoint capabilities. Results from the regression analysis showed that, in contradiction to the above hypothesis, self-efficacy had a significant influence on the prediction of psychological well-being for the group as a whole as well as in the rural context. Interestingly, collective efficacy had a significant influence on the variance in psychological well-being in the urban area. The effect of efficacy .beliefs on affective well-being seemed to stay the same irrespective of the context, while collective efficacy gained importance in the prediction of SWL in the urban context. This indicates that individuals from the urban context might attach even more value to their collective orientation when they move from the traditional collectivistic setting to a more individualised setting where collectivism is not a given anymore and they have to consciously work towards it. In conclusion it can be said that efficacy beliefs remain important factors in the prediction of psychological well-being for individuals irrespective of the process of urbanisation or in which context they find themselves. The practical implication is that raising either self-efficacy or collective efficacy will lead to increased psychological well-being and possibly better adjustment during the urbanisation process. Although these results provided some answers, a number of questions were raised about widely held assumptions regarding the cultural orientation of individuals and the effect of urbanisation on cultural value systems.
- Humanities