Academic self-efficacy among African American youths: Implications for school social work practice

Melissa Jonson-Reid, Larry Davis, Jeanne Saunders, Trina Williams, James Herbert Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


School performance among African American youths continues to be a major concern. The promotion of self-esteem remains a major focus of school-based intervention programs designed to improve children's academic performance and behavior. Empirical data suggest that academic self-efficacy rather than self-esteem is the critical factor for school success, but few studies have examined self-efficacy and self-esteem with an African American population. Furthermore, although school social workers tend to focus on nonacademic factors that inhibit student performance, little is known about how these factors may be associated with academic self-efficacy. This article explored cross-sectional relationships of various factors to academic self-efficacy. Findings suggest that strategies that build a student's belief in the importance of education may do more to increase academic self-efficacy among African American youths than would a focus on self-esteem. Implications for school social work practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Schools
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic self-efficacy
  • African American youths
  • School completion
  • School social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education


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