Genetic testing and the relationship between specific and general self-efficacy

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Abstract

The study examined the extent to which variations in health-specific self-efficacy could affect general self-efficacy. In a repeated measures design, 300 participants were administered an efficacy questionnaire, before and after an alleged news report, aimed at increasing or decreasing self-efficacy over genetic-testing decision making. The results found that self-efficacy over testing was significantly reduced after reading the negative news report in those participants who felt personal efficacy over testing decisions was important. Levels of general self-efficacy were also significantly decreased. The findings suggest that being denied control over a specific area of self-efficacy can have a wider impact, with a lack of perceived efficacy over testing decision making adversely impacting on levels of general well-being. The wider implications of this generalization effect and the processes involved in efficacy generalization are discussed.

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