Self-Efficacy and Training for Strength in Adolescent Girls

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  • University of Quebec at Montreal


To test the hypothesis that a gain in self-efficacy about strength training could generalize to other areas of life and positively affect self-esteem, untrained adolescent female volunteers were tested before and after participation in 12 weeks of strength training and compared with nonactive and mildly active volunteer controls. Pretest-posttest results for the treatment group showed improvement in strength (+40%), weight training efficacy, confrontation efficacy, and total efficacy summed over 11 tasks. There were related positive changes in perceived physical ability, physical self-presentation confidence, and general effectiveness in life. The treatment group improved posttest over controls on all these variables; controls did not change or worsened. These findings offer preliminary support that weight training for strength can improve confidence about a variety of life tasks in adolescent girls and could provide the basis for new modalities of therapy for low self-esteem.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-719
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1988