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A brief exploration of the self- efficacy concept and its implication in the recovery process.

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Introduction

Efficacy Beliefs and Their Role in Addiction Treatment Services: A brief exploration of the self- efficacy concept and its implication in the recovery process. Kelley Dundas-Wolfenden SSW 441/W. Skinner May 18, 2001 Contents Introduction.......................................................................................... 3 i. Overview........................................................................... 3 Developmental Aspects of Self-Efficacy.........................................................4 Self-Efficacy, Stress and Health...................................................................5 Self-Efficacy and Addictive Processes...........................................................7 Conclusions....................................................................................... .....9 Bibliography.........................................................................................10 The development of the self occurs in a social context that varies from culture to culture. The degree to which the individual self succeeds in its various roles and tasks, or in its overall purpose, and which Maslow referred to as self-actualization (1972) is determined by a variety of social influences upon the individual which serve to establish distinct areas of effectiveness and focus. Mead describes the self as a process, not a thing (Mead, 1934). The process of "becoming" is described by Mead as dependent, to a significant extent, upon motivating factors affected by personal beliefs in one's ability to learn and perform the skills required for a variety of necessary functions. So too, is the ability to prevent negative outcomes from occurring to the individual. The beliefs in one's ability to perform tasks and to control outcomes important to daily functioning serve to provide a sense of predictability while decreasing anxiety. Beliefs influence actions, feelings, and thoughts and they permeate choice-making processes. Overview Albert Bandura is a psychologist of tremendous influence whose work in social learning theory places him in the company of Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, B.F. ...read more.

Middle

What is more, there is an expanded emphasis placed on individual responsibility for making lifestyle choices which impact health (Miller & Rollnick, 1991). Notable influences on this paradigm shift have been the epidemic spread of venereal diseases, especially AIDS; the recognition of the negative effects of smoking on health; the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, generally; increased awareness of nutritional choices on cardiovascular diseases, as well as needs for regular exercise; the negative effects of drug and alcohol abuse, increasing in much of the world presently; and the effects of violence upon individuals and the environment. It is estimated that half of all deaths that occur in Canada are attributable to negative health habits, which shorten life. Bandura asserts that it is not stressful conditions per se but the perceived inability to manage them that produces the detrimental biological effects. Stress and other health concerns are forms of environmental conditions over which people need to perceive their own abilities to cope, otherwise they experience distress and inhibited functioning (Skinner, lecture May, 2001). This may take the form of lowered immune system response and/or elevated levels of biochemical reactions, which indicate agitation, and release of stress-related hormones. Studies show that the perception of diminished control of the experienced environment increases susceptibility to disease and acceleration of its progression (Bandura, 1995). As addiction and specifically alcoholism are often viewed as a disease it is in keeping with these studies that increased efficacy will aid in mastery of control and perception of abilities. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also state the need for efficacy assessments to be used to identify those most at risk to experience problems with either experimentation or quitting, as well as for assessing particular times and situations, which could become problematic. Conclusions The construct of self-efficacy is an idea that has a pervasive influence upon human endeavors. As Bandura puts it, peoples' beliefs in their efficacy play a paramount role in how well they organize, create, and manage the circumstances that affect their life course (Bandura, 1995). Virtually all experiences of learning, choice making, and conscious motivation are affected by the individuals perception of their own ability to succeed. The findings cited above demonstrate the need to consider this factor in a wide range of concerns of importance in the Behavioral Sciences, including education, substance abuse and recovery, physical health and wellness, mental health and self- actualization, family dynamics, and human developmental processes. Furthermore, the existence of the human species is continuously challenged (or threatened, depending upon ones level of efficacy) to adapt to circumstances that by many measures seem increasingly dangerous. Overpopulation, environmentally damaging practices, violence, substance abuse, and other problems which affect humanity need to be addressed by individuals and their social systems, whose success may be predicted by their sense of individual and group self-efficacy. As members of a helping profession commitment to the well being of individuals and communities requires awareness and nurturing of this human attribute. ...read more.

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