Measurement of physical self-efficacy in an elderly population

Academic Article


  • Self-efficacy theory has been proposed by Bandura (1977) as an integrative theoretical framework that explains, predicts and mediates psychological and behavioural change, and which can be applied to a variety of health-related behaviours. One instrument, the Rychman Physical Self-Efficacy Scale (PSE), measures self-efficacy in the physical domain. The PSE contains a 10-item Percieved Physical Ability (PPA) subscale and a 12-item Physical Self-Presentation Confidence (PSPC) subscale. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the PSE in an elderly population and to determine if there were any differences in self-efficacy between exercisers and non-exercisers (age = 82.9 years). Intraclass reliability was measured one-week apart (pretest 1 and 2), and resulted in an R = .73. Internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha) was dtermined seperately for the two subscales-Percieved Physical Ability (PPA) and Physical Self-Presentation Confidence (PSPC). The PSPC was found to have poor internal consistency with values ranging from .29 to .41. The PPA subscale was considered to have fair to good internal consistency with scores ranging from .60 to .68. Results demonstrated that for those who exercised, perceptions of physical ability were higher than non-exercisers. While self-efficacy has been previously shown to be a useful indicator of psychological well-being, the data suggest that there is a need to develop instruments appropriate for this population.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Author List

  • Stidwell HF; Rimmer JH
  • Start Page

  • 58
  • End Page

  • 63
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 2