Abstract: Correlates of Self-Efficacy in African American Adolescence Males Living in Urban Public Housing (Society for Social Work and Research 14th Annual Conference: Social Work Research: A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES)

12503 Correlates of Self-Efficacy in African American Adolescence Males Living in Urban Public Housing

Saturday, January 16, 2010: 3:30 PM
Pacific Concourse C (Hyatt Regency)
* noted as presenting author
Von E. Nebbitt, PhD , Howard University, Assistant Professor, Washington, DC
African American adolescent males are one of our nation's most vulnerable populations. They are more likely to be arrested, adjudicated and detained then their White and Hispanic counterparts (Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center, 2004; Pope, Lovell, & Hsia, 2002). They lag behind their female counterparts in education, labor market participation and career development (NCES, 2008). Scholars responded to this crisis by attempting to identify promotive and protective factors that may improve life chances for urban African American adolescent males. Several studies suggest that self-efficacy (e.g., an individual's beliefs in their capabilities to produce a desired result) holds promise for improving the life chances for this vulnerable population of youth. Accordingly, the last decade has seen a proliferation of research seeking to understand how self-efficacy may promote health behavior among urban African American adolescent males. Despite this proliferation in research, little has examined environmental and social correlates associated with increased or diminished self-efficacy in African American adolescent males living in public housing developments.

Using a sample of 213 African American adolescent males from public housing developments in two large cities, this paper assesses the role of attitudes toward deviance, peers' influence, paternal and maternal behavior, exposure to community violence and community social cohesion in promoting or inhibiting self efficacy in this population. This paper also assesses how the influences of parents' behavior on self-efficacy are moderated by the status of the adult caregiver (e.g., biological caregiver, relative caregiver or non-biological caregiver). This paper advances three questions: (1) to what extent does self-efficacy exist among African American adolescent males in urban public housing?; (2) how is self efficacy related to individual, peer, parental and community factors among African American adolescent males living in urban public housing?; and (3) how is the relationship, if any, between parents' behavior and self-efficacy moderated by the status of the adult caregiver?

The primary analytic procedure includes a hierarchical regression analysis. Bivariate correlations and univariate analyses were also employed. The sample's age ranged from12 to 19 years with a mean age of 15.25 and a standard deviation of 2.4 years. Self-efficacy did not differ between the two cities. Self-efficacy was positively related to attitudes towards deviance, maternal support, paternal support and community cohesion. The regression model explained 32 percent of the variance in self-efficacy in African American adolescence males. Parental behavior and community cohesion explained most of the variance in self-efficacy.

Results suggest that interventions should consider how the maternal caregiver's status influences the caregiver's ability to promote efficacy in adolescent males. Social bonding may be important in promoting self-efficacy in urban African American adolescent males. Interventions in households where the maternal caregiver is not the biological mother may benefit from helping the maternal caregiver develop a support and encouraging relationship with the adolescent male. Conversely, in household where the maternal caregiver is the biological mother, an intervention approach that may involve more parental supervision and monitoring may be useful in increasing self-efficacy. Intervention should also include building community cohesion.