focuses on specific, challenging, and self-referenced goals towards which individuals strive.
To examine its factors and consequences, a team of researchers surveyed almost 1,500 Australian students (mean age 14) about their perceived environmental support from parents, teachers, and peers; as well as their self-efficacy and adaptability.
Self-efficacy refers to one’s belief in one’s ability to accomplish certains tasks and succeed in specific situations. As for adaptabilty, psychologists conceptualize it as one’s capacity for emotional, cognitive, and behavioral self-regulation in response to changing or uncertain circumstances.
Participants were also asked to report their most recent score on a national standardized test measuring both literacy and numeracy. Finally, to measure their personal best goal setting habits, they were asked to rate their agreement with such statements as “When I do my schoolwork I try to improve on how I’ve done before” and “When I do my schoolwork I try to do the best that I’ve ever done”.
One year later, the researchers were able to confirm that growth in achievement was positively correlated with personal best goals setting, which was positively correlated with both adaptability and self-efficacy; and that the latter were positively correlated with parental-, peer-, and teacher-support.
Source: Martin et alia (2018)