An examination of the relationship between self-efficacy and stress in adolescents: the role of gender and self-esteem

Michael T. McKay*, Martin Dempster, Don G. Byrne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This cross-sectional study investigated gender differences on domains of stress, self-esteem and self-efficacy beliefs (academic, social and emotional) as well as the association between stress, self-esteem and self-efficacy using a sample of adolescents (N = 610) from the United Kingdom. Participants were randomly selected from high schools and completed the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ), the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children and the Adolescent Alcohol Involvement Scale (AAIS). The results showed that girls had significantly higher mean scores on seven out of ten stress domains. Females also scored significantly lower on self-esteem, and social self-efficacy (SSE), but higher on emotional self-efficacy. Regression analyses showed differential relationships between self-efficacy domains and stress domains. Moreover, tests of interaction effects revealed that these relationships were invariant both for gender and for levels of self-esteem; in other words, neither gender nor self-esteem moderated the relationship between adolescent stress and self-efficacy. Additional analyses revealed that moderating effects of self-efficacy domains on the relationship between stress domains and alcohol use were infrequent. This study begins to untangle a complex relationship between these multi-dimensional constructs and offers suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1151
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number9
Early online date03 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • self efficacy
  • self esteem
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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