Science University Research Symposium (SURS)


How Personality, Mental Health, and Social Factors Relate to Self-Efficacy

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Abigail Heller, PhD

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Self-efficacy is the belief that you can be successful when carrying out a certain task (WebMD, n.d.). Existing research has shown that self-efficacy can act as a protective factor against difficult life events (D’Souza et al., 2023). Self-efficacy is also shown to be enhanced with a positive and supportive social atmosphere (Jerusalem & Hessling, 2009). However, research indicates that certain personality traits (e.g., neuroticism; Taylor, 2018) and social factors such as increased time on social media (Glatz et al., 2023) and lack of perceived social support (Rostami et al., 2010) may negatively affect self-efficacy. Anxiety and depression also negatively impact self-efficacy negatively (Al-Ruwaili, 2018; Tak et al., 2016). This study examined how personality (i.e., neuroticism), mental health (i.e., anxiety and depression), and social (e.g., social media) factors uniquely predict self-efficacy in emerging adult college students. In this study, emerging adult college students (N= 46) filled out a survey on Qualtrics that measured demographics, self-efficacy, personality, anxiety, depression, social support, and social media use. Results indicated that, after controlling the frequency of social media use, social support predicted higher self-efficacy, b = 0.83, SE = 0.38, t(43) = 2.16, p = 0.036, 95% CI [0.06, 1.60]. However, the other predictors (i.e., anxiety, depression, personality, and social media usage) did not predict self-efficacy. Results highlight the importance of bolstering one’s social support system to increase self-efficacy.

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