Self-efficacy beliefs and change in cognitive performance: MacArthur studies of successful aging

Teresa Seeman, Gail McAvay, Marilyn Albert, Susan Merrill, Judith Rodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


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 relationships between baseline cognitive performance and change in self-efficacy beliefs, better abstraction ability was also predictive of increases in instrumental efficacy beliefs among the men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-551
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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