Path analysis was used to test the influence of writing self-efficacy, writing apprehension, perceived usefulness of writing, and writing aptiude on the essay-writing performance of 218 fifth-grade stuents. A model that also included sex accounted for 64% of the variance in performance. As hypothesized, self-efficacy beliefs made an independent contribution to the dpreediction of perforance desipte the expected powerful effect of writing aptitude. Aptitude also had a strong direct effect on self-efficacy, which mediated the indirect effect of aptittde on performance. Self-efficacy had direct effects on apprehension and perceived usefulness. Girls and boys did not differ in performance, but girls reported high writing sef-efficacy, found writing more useful, and had lower apprehension. Results support the hypothesize role of self-efficacy in Bandura's (1986) socia cognitive theory.
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