Assessment of Self-Efficacy on Students’ Academic Performance In Secondary Schools: A Comparative Study Of Male And Female Students In Murang’a And Kirinyaga Counties, Kenya


  • Stephen Weru Njega Karatina university
  • Johannes Njagi Njoka Karatina University
  • Catherine Waithera Ndung'u Karatina University



academic performance, motivation, perception, self-efficacy, students


Self-efficacy is one of the major factors believed to considerably influence academic performance of learners in secondary schools. Some institutions and individual students are known to be consistently performing better than others even when there was no difference in their entry behaviour. This trend is witnessed between Kirinyaga and Murang’a counties with Kirinyaga county students out-performing those from Murang’a county with a significant margin in KCSE between 2012 to 2017.  A comparative study is therefore desirable to find out whether self-efficacy influences academic performance in the secondary schools. The study was based on the self-efficacy theory as its theoretical framework. It adopted correlational research design with a target population of 5879. The population consisted of all the form three students in the extra-county and national schools in Murang'a and Kirinyaga counties. Yamane’s formula was used to get a sample size of 412. Data was collected using a questionnaire and analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Results indicate that a strong relationship exists between self-efficacy and academic performance. The overall perceived self-efficacy was high with a mean of 71.36%. The self-efficacy was significantly higher in Kirinyaga than in Murang'a county students. Though efficacy was higher in male compared to the females, though the difference was not statistically significant. The study recommended that besides focusing on syllabus coverage, teachers should be enhanced with pedagogical skills that boost self-efficacy in learners.

Author Biographies

  • Stephen Weru Njega, Karatina university
    Education, Student
  • Johannes Njagi Njoka, Karatina University
    School of education, Dean
  • Catherine Waithera Ndung'u, Karatina University
    School od education and social sciences, Lecture


Abubakar, M.I. (2013). School based, social cultural and economic factors affecting Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education performance in Garisa District, Garisa county, Kenya. Kenyatta University repository.

Ackerman, C. (2018). Self-fulfilling prophesy in psychology. Positive psychology. Gandhiplein, Maastricht Netherlands.

Artino, A. R. (2012). Academic self-efficacy: from educational theory to instructional practice. Springer open; Journal of Perspectives on Medical Education 1(2): 76–85.

Basome, S., Nyakato, C., Koskey, J., Wampande, J., Mbuti, E., Magaleta, J., & Allida, V. (2017). The quest for 3H: towards a holistic secondary education in Kenya. Baraton interdisciplinary research journal 7(special issue),1-7.

Bandura, A. (2004). Swimming against the mainstream; the early years from chilly tributary to transformative mainstream. Behaviour Research and therapy.42, 613-630.

Becker, B. E., & Luther, S. S. (2002). Social-emotional factors affecting achievement outcomes among disadvantaged students: Closing the achievement gap. Educational Psychologist. 37, 197-214.

Betoret, F. D., L.A., & Artiga, A. G. (2017). Self-efficacy, satisfaction and academic achievement: the mediator role of students’ expectancy-value beliefs. Frontiers in psychology; educational psychology. Retrieved on 16/09/2019, from

Deckers, L. (2018). Motivation: Biological, psychological and e Rosllo,nvironmental. New York, Routledge Press.

Dybowski, C., Sehner, S., & Harendza, S. (2017). Influence of motivation, self-efficacy and situational factors on the teaching quality of clinical educators. BMC Medical Educational Journal. 17, 84.

He, F., Cao, R., Feng, Z., Guan, H., & Peng, J. (2013). The impacts of dispositional optimism and psychological resilience on the subjective well-being of burn patients: a structural equation modelling analysis. Public library of service. 8(12). Retrieved from on 18/11/2018.

Hendricks, K.S. (2105). The sources of self-efficacy. Update: applications of research in music education. Doi=10.1177/8755123315576535.

Korir, D. K., & Kipkemboi, F. (2014). The impact of school environment and peer influence on students’ academic performance in Vihiga county, Kenya. Journal of Humanities and Social sciences 4 5(1) 240-251.

LaMorte, W. W. (2018). Behavioural change models. Boston University School of Public Health. Retrieved from on August 29, 2018.

Makori, A.; Chepwarwa, J.; Jepkenei, E.; & Jacob, P. (2015). Admission into public secondary schools in Kenya: understanding parental preferential limitations. Journal of education and social research. 5 (3) 91-98. Doi:10.5901/jesr.2015.v5n3p91

Morris, C.G.; & Maisto, A.A. (2016). Understanding psychology. special ed. New Jersey. Pearson Education inc.

Mwaura, J.M. (2010). Strategies employed by secondary school principals to improve academic performance in Embu West District. Unpublished thesis, Kenyatta University.

Ochieng, W. (2015). Self-efficacy and academic achievement among secondary school in Kenya: mathematics perspective. Research project; university of Nairobi.

Ormrod, J.E., Anderman, E.M., & Anderman, L. (2017). Educational psychology; Developing learners. 9th ed. Harlow, Pearson.

Otiati, M.N. (2013). Factors affecting students’ KCSE of secondary education performance in art and design in secondary schools of Nairobi County, Kenya. Thesis submitted to Kenyatta University in 2013.

Shkullaku, R. (2013). Relationship between self-efficacy and academic performance in the context of gender among the Albanian students. European Academic research. 1(4), 467-478.

Tahira, S. (2014). Physical and psychological needs of humans. Retrieved from on11/04/2019.

Tenaw, Y.A. (2013). Relationship between self-efficacy, academic achievement and gender in analytical chemistry at Debre Markos College of Teachers Education. African Journal of Chemical Education. 3 (1),1-26.

Tiyuri, A., Saberi, B., Miri, M., Shahrestanaki, E., Batyat, B.B., & Salehiniya, H. (2018). Research self-efficacy and its relationship with academic performance in post graduate students of Tehran University of Medical science in 2016. Journal of Educational Health promotion.7(11), 1-9.

Troncone, A., Drammis, M.L., & Labella, A. (2014). Personality traits, self-esteem and academic achievements in secondary school students in Campania, Italy. Universal Journal of Educational Research. 2 (7) 512-520.







Similar Articles

1-10 of 264

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.