Self-efficacy was defined by Albert Bandura in 1977 as the belief in one’s ability to perform certain tasks. The purpose of the current study was to analyze the relationship between a number of independent variables and youth worker efficacy, inclusive of the three associated indices – theory efficacy, professional values efficacy, and applied skills efficacy. The independent variables explored included age, gender, previous work experience in a youth development setting, previous attendance at an educational/training session in the youth work/development field, and the type of youth development organization where the participants were employed.
The study involved 90 participants who attended a statewide annual youth development conference. Data collection and analysis provided significant results, connected to a number of important points related to youth worker efficacy. Significant findings included participants who had more work experience in a youth development setting had higher professional values efficacy, and the combination of age, previous work experience in the youth development setting, previous attendance at an educational/training session in the youth development field, and the type of youth development organization had an impact on youth worker efficacy.
The results of this study have continued to build the body of knowledge related to youth worker efficacy. Further research on the topic of youth worker efficacy should be conducted, inclusive of variables such as the youth workers’ perceived impact on youth.