Interest in the role of self-confidence in sport performance has been high in sport psychology research. A measure to assess general physical self-efficacy has recently been developed, but without application to competitive sport performance. The present study examined the role of general and task-specific self-efficacy in women's intercollegiate gymnastics. It also assessed the reliability and validity of the Physical Self-Efficacy Scale in a competitive sport setting. The Physical Self-Efficacy Scale was found to be a reliable and valid instrument for measuring an individual's general physical self-efficacy in sport. However, the task-specific measures of self-efficacy and the gymnast's prediction of how they would perform proved to be much more powerful variables for predicting actual gymnastic performance. The results are discussed in terms of the relationships between different types of self-efficacy and sport performance and the problems associated with self-efficacy measurement.
The authors would like to thank Connie Bandy and Tom Deeter for their help with the collection of the data and the University of Iowa women's gymnastics coaching staff for their assistance throughout this study.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Edward McAuley, University of Iowa, Sports Medicine Service, 1189 Carver Pavilion, Iowa City, IA 52242.