Generalized self-efficacy, self-esteem, and negative affect


In order to help resolve the ongoing debate about the relationship between and the functions of self-esteem and generalized self-efficacy (GSE), the authors tested the hypotheses that GSE predicts future self-esteem and that self-esteem predicts unique incremental variance in future negative affect. Measures of these three constructs were administered to two samples of undergraduates (N = 160 and N = 75) twice over five-six weeks. Time 1 GSE accounted for significant variance in Time 2 self-esteem in both studies, 1.6% of the variance in Study 1 and 4.6% of the variance in Study 2, after controlling for Time 1 self-esteem. Time 1 self-esteem did not predict Time 2 GSE in either study. Self-esteem accounted for significant variance in negative affect in Study 1. Results suggest that GSE and self-esteem are distinct, that GSE may play a role in the development of self-esteem, and that self-esteem may help shape negative affect.

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science