Relational efficacy beliefs in physical activity classes: a test of the tripartite model

This study explored the predictive relationships between students’ (N = 516, Mage = 18.48, SD = 3.52) tripartite efficacy beliefs and key outcomes in undergraduate physical activity classes. Students reported their relational efficacy perceptions (i.e., other-efficacy and relation-inferred self-efficacy, or RISE) with respect to their instructor before a class, and instruments measuring self-efficacy, enjoyment, and effort were administered separately following the class. The following week, an independent observer assessed student achievement. Latent variable path analyses that accounted for nesting within classes revealed (a) that students were more confident in their own ability when they reported favorable other-efficacy and RISE appraisals, (b) a number of direct and indirect pathways through which other-efficacy and RISE predicted adaptive in-class outcomes, and (c) that self-efficacy directly predicted enjoyment and effort, and indirectly predicted achievement. Although previous studies have examined isolated aspects within the tripartite framework, this represents the first investigation to test the full range of direct and indirect pathways associated with the entire model.