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An investigation of the influence of vicarious experience on perceived self-efficacy

Mandy Marion Boyd Harrison, PhD, Francis A. McGuire, PhD, CTRS


Perceived self-efficacy is an indicator of maintenance, effort, and performance of various behaviors, including recreation therapy activities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of one of the sources of efficacy information, vicarious experience via modeling, and to enhance efficacy beliefs of at-risk youth who are participating in a therapeutic adventure activity. Additionally, this study investigated the influence of activity specific efficacy perceptions on both self-regulatory self-efficacy (SRSE) and perceived performance in the specific activity. Results indicated that groups who observed a model demonstrate rock climbing during ground school had significantly higher rock climbing self-efficacy and SRSE after their rock climbing experience than the group that did not. In light of this research, it is apparent that providing a model is an effective tool that can be used to assist recreational therapists in offering effective programs.


modeling, perceived self-efficacy, rock climbing, vicarious experience

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