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Female undergraduate students (N - 39) were assigned to one of three conditions: aided participant modeling (APM), unaided participant modeling (UPM), or a control group followed by practice trials of a gymnastic skill. Subjects in both modeling groups reported higher self-efficacy expectations and lower anxiety ratings than the control group following treatment. The aided participant modeling group scored higher on the performance measure than did the unaided participant modeling group, and both modeling groups scored higher than the control group. Path analytic techniques were employed to test the fit of the data to Bandura's (1977a) self-efficacy model and an anxiety reduction model. Self-efficacy was a significant predictor of skill performance, but the anxiety-performance path was nonsignificant. Although Bandura's model did not fully explain the fit of the data to the fully recursive model, it proved to be a more parsimonious explanation of behavior change than was the anxiety reduction model. Despite the limitations imposed on the data by the small sample size, the present study suggests that self-efficacy is an influential determinant of motor skill acquisition.
This article is based on a doctoral dissertation presented to the Graduate College of the University of Iowa. Appreciation is extended to Diane Gill and Dan Russell for assisting with the early stages of this research, and to Deborah Feltz and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions and comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.