Scholarly article on topic 'The Relationship of M.A. Students’ Metacognitive and Self-efficacy Beliefs with Their Mental Health'

The Relationship of M.A. Students’ Metacognitive and Self-efficacy Beliefs with Their Mental Health Academic research paper on "Psychology"

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Abstract of research paper on Psychology, author of scientific article — Ali Ghanaei Chamanabad, Fatemeh Mirdoraghi, Hamideh Pakmehr

Abstract This study aimed to investigate the relationship of students’ self-efficacy and meta-cognition with their mental health. In adescriptive-correlation study, 150M.D. students in Ferdowsi university of Mashhad, Iran during academic year of 2010-2011were selected randomly and completed Meta-cognitions Questionnaire Wells & Cartwright(2004), General Self-Efficacy Scale Sherer & Maddux(1982)and General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg and Hiller(1972). The results showed statisticallysignificant correlation between self-efficacy and mental health (r= -0.29, p< 0.001) and meta-cognition and mental health (r= - 0.73, p< 0.001). Totally, 59% of variance of students’ mental health can be predicted by their self-efficacy and meta-cognition.

Academic research paper on topic "The Relationship of M.A. Students’ Metacognitive and Self-efficacy Beliefs with Their Mental Health"

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Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 15 (2011) 3050-3055

The Relationship of M.A. Students' Metacognitive and Self-efficacy

Beliefs with Their Mental Health

Ali Ghanaei Chamanabada , Fatemeh Mirdoraghib, Hamideh Pakmehrc

a Assistant professor and Faculty member of education and psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Mashhad, Iran b Master Student of general psychology in Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Mashhad, Iran c Master Student of curriculum studies in Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the relationship of students' self-efficacy and meta-cognition with their mental health. In a descriptive-correlation study, 150 M.D. students in Ferdowsi university of Mashhad, Iran during academic year of 2010-2011 were selected randomly and completed Meta-cognitions Questionnaire Wells & Cartwright(2004), General Self-Efficacy Scale Sherer & Maddux(1982)and General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg and Hiller(1972). The results showed statistically significant correlation between self-efficacy and mental health (r= -0.29, p< 0.001) and meta-cognition and mental health (r= -0.73, p< 0.001). Totally, 59% of variance of students' mental health can be predicted by their self-efficacy and meta-cognition. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Mental Health, Self-efficacy, Meta-cognition;

1. Introduction

The period of studying in university is a challenging and interesting time for students. All students must have enough mental health and self-efficacy to well encounter against various stressful factors and adapt for the existing status (Memichaei & Hetzl, 1975). Then, the study of their mental health and affecting factors may be of research interests.

1.1. Mental Health

World Health Organization (cf. Sarafino, 1998) defines health as complete physical, mental and social welfare that is not limited only to the lack of diseases and disabilities. Teodor (2001) states that mental health is characterized by two manifestations: the lack of mental diseases and life satisfaction and enjoyment. Corsini (1991) describes mental health as a mental mode which is relatively free of anxiety symptoms and also, ability to effectively communicate with others and to well encounter against stressful motivators. Proposing a multidimensional pattern of mental health, Wissing and Fourie (2000) state that mental health has a positive performance nature and includes among others, self-acceptance, positive communication with others, self-direction, domination on environment, setting some goals for life and personal development.

1.2. Self-efficacy

One of factors affecting mental health is self-efficacy, which has a valuable place in different aspects of life and health (Maddux, 2002) and main role in individuals' thinking modes, their decision-making, the quality of their encounter with problems, their depression and anxiety status and so on (Dweck, 1988). Individuals with high self-

* Ali Ghanaei Chamanabad E-mail address: alighanaei@yahoo.com

1877-0428 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.04.243

efficacy have ability to modify their negative mental modes (Kim. 2003). Pajares (1997) describes self-efficacy as individuals' judgement on their ability to achieve their own designed performance levels. Powerful self-efficacy results in calmness and can well predict mental health (Pajares & Schunk , 2002). However, individuals need to believe their ability to make changes in order to select appropriate health behaviors. The lack of beliefs in behavioral changes prevents persons from changing their health behaviour to gain better health (Sarafino, 1998). In fact, high self-efficacy correlates with lower mental stress, higher adaptation and higher interest to health and care programs (Bandur & Pastorelli, 1999). Shvlts & Shvlts (1998) argues that individuals with weak self-efficacy avoid obstacles to their lives rather than encountering them effectively and also select unrealistic criteria that result in their frequent faults and unsuccessfulness. These all cause their depression and mental disorders. Endler,, Speer, Jhnson,J. and Fleet. (2001) and Lenz, Elizabeth, Shortrige_Bagget and Lillie (2002) found that general self-efficacy is negatively related to depression and anxiety, as two main components of mental health, and positive self-efficacy beliefs have an effective role in the treatment of mental diseases.

1.3. Meta-cognition

Meta-cognition is another factor affecting mental health. In recent years, it has been considered as a base in studies of mental disorders (Wells, 1995) and has an especial place in human mental health (Wells, 2004). As a multiple concept, meta-cognition incorporates individual's knowledge, processes and strategies for evaluating and monitoring their own cognition (Nelson, Stuart, Howard and Crawley, 1999). Flavell (1977) describes meta-cognition as an individual knowledge of cognitive processes and output or anything that is related to them. In fact, meta-cognition theory reveals that most confronting behaviours have meta-cognitive nature. This should be taken into account in indicating problems relating to mental health. When activated, negative meta-cognitive beliefs result in interfering in information interpretation and threaten mental health (Wells. 1985). Considering the above-mentioned points, this study aimed at investigating the possible relationship between students' self-efficacy from the one hand and meta-cognition from the other hand (as the independent variables) and their mental health (as the dependent variable) and also, determining which of these factors is a stronger predictor for mental health than the other.

1. 2. Methods

2.1. Participants and procedures and Data Analysis

During academic year of 2010-2011, 150 students (100 girls and 50 boys) were randomly selected as the study sample by using stratified sampling method according to their gender among all M.D. students in Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, as the study population. Statistical methods, especially Pearson's correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis were used for data analysis.

2.2. Instrumentation

A 30-item short form of the Meta-cognitions Questionnaire (Wells & Cartwright, 2004) was used to measure students' meta-cognitive beliefs in 5 sub-scales (positive worry beliefs, negative worry beliefs, cognitive confidence, negative thought beliefs and cognitive self-awareness or selective attention to mental events). These subscales all have significant correlation with mental health vulnerability and conceptually are related to structures such as self-awareness and cognitive faults. They take real dimensions into accounts and do not emphasize unreal characteristics (Wells & Cartwright, 2004). Shirin-zadeh-Dastgiri et. al. (2008) estimated the reliability of the scale 82%. In this study Kronbach's alpha coefficients was 0.79.

General Self-Efficacy Scale (Sherrer et. al., 1982) with 17 items in likerte type scale was used for measuring students' self-efficacy. Each item has 1-5 scores. The highest and the least scores of the scale are 17 and 85, respectively. The higher the total score is, the higher self-efficacy is. Bosscher and Smith (1998) reported the reliability of the scale about 69%. In this study Kronbach's alpha coefficients was 0.68.

Goldberg mental health scale: This questionnaire was provided by Goldberg (1979) to distinguish (Willmott, 2004). In this research 28 questions - from of mental health questionnaire which has four fragment scales of physical damage, anxiety, depression and social ill- treatment. In this scale, higher scores show lower mental health

and vice versa. Then, the findings related to the subjects' mental health showed negative correlations. Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the scale in the current research amounted to 78%. In this study Kronbach's alpha coefficients was 0.71. 3. Results

Table 1 shows the mean and standard deviation of the subjects' total scores in meta-cognition, self-efficacy and mental health variables by their gender. Girls had higher score mean in mental health than boys.

Table 1. The means and Standard deviations of students' scores in meta-cognition, self-efficacy and mental health variables by their gender

Statistic Parameters Girls Boys Total

variables Mean SD mean SD mean SD

Meta-cognition 93.29 20.55 92.20 20.25 92.92 20.39

Self-efficacy 60.78 17.49 62.90 18.21 61.48 17.70

Mental Health 22.65 10.70 20.88 11.65 22.06 11.01

Table 2 shows the correlations of predicting variables (i.e. meta-cognition and self-efficacy) and dependent variable (i.e. mental health) by the subjects' gender. Both meta-cognition (r= -0.29, p< 0.001) and self-efficacy (r= -0.76, p< 0.001) correlated significantly with mental health. Self-efficacy in both gender had the highest correlation with mental health (r= -0.77 for girls, and r= -0.73 for boys, p< 0.001).

Table 2. Correlation coefficients between predicting and dependent variables

Statistic Parameters Girls Mental Health Boys Total

Variables R N R n r N

Meta-cognition -0.32*** 100 -0.23* 50 -0.29** 150

Self-efficacy -0.77*** 100 -0.73*** 50 -0.7**' 150

***p < .001 * p < .05

Table 3 summarized the results of synchronous regression analysis to estimate the prediction power of the subjects' meta-cognition and self-efficacy in predicting their mental health. The correlation coefficient between the predicting variables and mental health variable was r= -0.76. It was found that 59% of variance of mental health can be predicted by both meta-cognition and self-efficacy variables. Analysis of variance for estimating the statistical significance of the correlation coefficient showed significant difference (F= 105.91, p< 0.001). Then, both meta-cognition and self-efficacy can predict mental health.

Table 3. The results of synchronous multiple regression analysis for predicting mental health in all students

the source of changes SS d.f MS F p-va¡ue

Regression 10681.93 2 5340.96

Residual 7412.52 147 50.42 105.91 0.000***

Total 18094.46 149 -

*** p < .001

According to testing the statistical significance of regression coefficients, students' self-efficacy can independently predict their mental health (t= -13.45, p< 0.001), but meta-cognition can not (Table 4).

Table 4. The results of regression analysis for estimating the statistic significance of independent variables in predicting mental health

predictor variables regression coefficient b SE regression coefficient ß t p-value

Meta-cognition -0.05 0.03 -0.10 -1.85 0.06

Self-efficacy -0.45 0.03 -0.73 -13.45 0.000***

*** p < .001

As shown in tables 5 and 6, stepwise regression analysis for girls indicated that both meta-cognition and self-efficacy correlated with their mental health. In the first step, self-efficacy variable was entered into the regression equation and could predict 60% of variance of girls' mental health (r= 0.77, p< 0.001). When meta-cognition variable was entered in the regression equation, both predictors predicted 61% of variance of girl students' mental health (r= 0.78, p< 0.001).

Table 5. Stepwise regression coefficient between predicting variables and mental health in girls

Predictor variable Change resource SS d.f MS F p-value

Self-efficacy Regression Residual 6808.54 4526.20 1 98 6808.54 46.18 147.41 0.000***

Self- efficacy and Meta-cognition Regression Residual 7003.70 4331.04 2 97 3501.85 44.65 78.42 0.000***

*** p < .001

Table 6. The results of regression coefficient and determinant coefficient for the studied variables in girls

regression

Criterion predictor variable r R 2 Rffressio" SE coefficient t p_value

variable R coefficient b ^

Mental Self-efficacy 0.77 0.60 -0.45 0.04 -0.74 -11.38 0.000***

Health_Meta-cognition_0j78_0.61_-0.07_-0.13 -0.13_-2.09 0.03*

* p < .05 *** p < .001

As shown in tables 7 and 8, the results of stepwise regression analysis for boys revealed that only self-efficacy could predict 54% of variance of boys' mental health (r= 0.73, p< 0.001). The other independent variable, i.e. meta-cognition, could not predict their mental health.

Table 7. Stepwise regression coefficient between predicting variables and mental health in boy students

Predictor Change ^ M§ p

variable resource

Selfefficacv Regression 3614.58 1 3614.58 0

aelt-etncacy ReS1dual_3040.69_48_6334_5__

*** p < 0.001

Table 8. The results of regression coefficient and determinant coefficient for the studied variables in girl students

regression

Criteri°n Predktor r o ^gress^ SE coefficient t Sig

variable variable R coefficient bp

Mental Health Self-efficacy 0.73 0.54 -0.47 0.06 -0.73 -7.55 0.000**

*** p < .001

4. Discussion

This study investigated the relationship of students' meta-cognition and self-efficacy with their mental health. We found that there was a significant correlation between meta-cognition and mental health (r= -0.29, p< 0.001). In fact, when negative meta-cognitive beliefs are activated, they disrupt information interpretation and threaten mental health (Wells, 2006). This is in accord with Spada, Nikcevic, Moneta and Ireson's (2006) and Bahrami and Rezvan's (2007) findings. The other finding of our study was that students' self-efficacy significantly correlated with their mental health (r= -0.73, p< 0.001). It can be said that powerful self-efficacy beliefs tend to increase individual calmness and positively affect their mental health (Pajares. & Schunk , 2002). The finding is in agreement with Pakmehr and Ja'fari-thani's (2010) and Siu-kau and Stephen's (2000) findings. In total, 59% of variance of mental health can be predicted by both self-efficacy and meta-cognition. Predicting 73% of variance of boys' mental health,

self-efficacy is a good predictor for their mental health. Besides, 78% of variance of girls' mental health can be predicted by their both self-efficacy and meta-cognition.

In summary, our findings showed that there is a significant correlation between students' meta-cognition, from the one hand and their self-efficacy, from the other hand, and their mental health, and the former variables can predict the latter one. Then, as health is an important indicator of a developed society and mental health is a main factor in an individual's all lifelong affairs and activities, especially in studying activities, it is suggested that other related studies are done in order to identify further factors affecting it and detect factors affecting students' self-efficacy and meta-cognition as two main influencing factors for mental health.

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