The study presented here examined the development of

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environment, which should be one of the goals of children’s upbringing. The study presented here examined the development of self-efficacy in preschool children. We focused on the level of self-efficacy, the influence of experience expected by parents on self- efficacy of preschool children, and the attending parent-child communication. We shall describe possible ways of supporting the healthy development of the child, and mistakes to be avoided in order to balance protection and risk in favor of protection. The way adults guide the child through various situations, in terms of the social cognitive theory (social modeling, observation, mastery experience), is important for supporting a healthy development, especially in stress situations. A child with broader experience has better understanding of itself and its usual environment. Through this knowledge it is able to judge its own efficacy more realistically in various areas of activity. Methodology The investigation of self-efficacy in small children is accompanied by a variety of methodological problems. In personality development we are able to define certain developmental stages, but at the same time we may observe that the self-concept of children of the same age group distinctly differs. Other problems involve the temporal stability of self- efficacy, the dependence of results on methods applied and the language skills of children. With regard to the character of the questions investigated, the pilot study revealed the advantage of a qualitative research approach. Research Questions In our opinion, crucial time to cultivate self-efficacy is the preschool age, which in this study means children aged 3-6 years. One of the research tasks aims at finding possibilities of measuring or describing self-efficacy in children (there is no verified method for pre-school children, Bandura, 2001) in order to ascertain what influences its level. Among the influential factors we concentrate on the area of experience in coping with various situations (mastery experience), which in this phase of development is mainly mediated and communicated by parents. The findings obtained resulted in recommendations for parents concerning ways of supporting self-efficacy of their child. These recommendations may be utilized also by other persons participating in the education of the child. Summary of the 1 st phase of the study The concept of self-efficacy has been proved useful for studying preschool children. Although the procedure of examination of self-efficacy in preschool children is methodologically demanding and time-consuming, it is still possible when triangulation of methods and observers is used. 2
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Children show high self-efficacy, optimism and will to get new experiences. It is useful to support children in a positive way, because we build a good and steady base for resistance in various life-events and situations. Parents are the most important factor for cultivating self- efficacy of their children. The manner that parents use to mediate different experiences to children and the way they conduct their children through new and stressing situations, largely influences how the children will deal with new and stressing situations once they grow up.
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  • Fall '19
  • Self-efficacy, Prof. Simona Hoskovcová

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