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The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between intelligence (IQ) and self-efficacy in children and adolescents living in the United States and Nicaragua. The sample consisted of 90 (46 male, 44 female) students (mean age = 11.57 years, SD = 3.0 years) referred by school administrators and faculty. United States (US) participants (n = 27) resided in rural counties in the Northwest. The other group consisted of 63 students from Central America. A comparison between groups revealed that in the US, sample higher grades and IQ scores are typically associated with higher levels of self-efficacy. However in the Nicaraguan sample, both IQ scores and grades were not associated with self-efficacy, although age was correlated with self-efficacy. Results suggest that the construct of self-efficacy might change depending on whether one belongs to an individualistic or collectivistic society. Additionally, the effects of socioeconomic factors might influence perceived ability even more than intellectual abilities.


Originally published in the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 23(3), 209-216. doi:10.1515/ijamh.2011.046

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