Document Type


Publication Date

November 2008


Using the self-efficacy literature as a theoretical framework, this article discusses the reality of academic achievement and academic performance among selected African American middle school girls. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches are used to investigate the influence of selfefficacy. Thirty-seven African American middle school girls filled out an adversity questionnaire and also responded to the Children’s Self-efficacy Survey. Based on the results, 10 girls were selected for in-depth interviews. Responses to interview questions reveal how these girls’ self-efficacy helped them not only cope with obstacles in their lives but also excel academically. These responses provide important insights for educators who want to help this population of students continue to succeed.


This article was published in final form in Education and Urban Society published online 6 May 2008, available at DOI: 10.1177/0013124508316743

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