2011. Vol.2, No.3, 226-229
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. DOI:10.4236/psych.2011.23035
Primary and Secondary School Counseling Staff Self-Efficacy
Relevant Factors
Shuyuan Cheng, Guihao Liu, Guifeng Xu, Yunlian Xue, Li Guo*
Faculty of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-Sen University,
Guangzhou, China
Received September 25th, 2010; revised December 22nd, 2010; accepted February 6th, 2011
Objective: To understand the general self-efficacy of full-time and part-time counseling staff in primary and
secondary schools. Methods: 108 counseling staff from primary and secondary schools in Foshan City were se-
lected using multi-stage random sampling method, and investigated by self-made questionnaire, Simplified
Coping Style Questionnaire (SCSQ) and General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES). Results: Different academic staff
had different positive coping styles scores (P < 0.05). People with Master’s degree and above selected more ma-
ture way than that of college staff, and people with lower educational level (2.56 ± 0.34, 2.02 ± 0.40, P < 0.05);
People with different jobs showed different negative coping styles and self-efficacy (P < 0.01); Score of nega-
tive coping styles of part-time staff was higher than that of full-time staff(1.21 ± 0.59, 0.94 ± 0.36), while their
sense of self-efficacy was lower than that of full-time staff (2.51 ± 0.49, 2.83 ± 0.39). However there was no sta-
tistical difference among people from different majors and jobs on positive coping styles, negative coping styles
and self-efficacy (P > 0.05). High self-efficacy group had higher scores of positive coping styles than that of low
self-efficacy group (2.17 ± 0.361.97 ± 0.43, P < 0.05); Positive correlation had been found between
self-efficacy and positive coping styles (r = 0.307, P < 0.01). Conclusion: Self-efficacy of counseling staff in
primary and secondary schools is related to positive coping styles and job styles kinds (full-time or part-time).
Keywords: Counseling Staff, Coping Styles, Self-Efficacy
Self-efficacy is the core conception of Bandura’s social cog-
nition theory which means that human beings control and guide
their behaviors. If one had believed that he could handle every-
thing, he would display more positive and initiative perform-
ances in his life. The cognition of “I can do it” reflects a control
feeling of environment. Thus, self-efficacy reflects a faith that
individual can take appropriate action when faces challenges
from circumstance. (Zhang Z.-J., 2005) In process of psychol-
ogy counseling, self-efficacy is one of the crucial factors af-
fecting the result.
As an inter factor between stress and mental regulation or
psychopathological symptoms, coping style or strategy plays a
vital role in individual’s physical and psychological develop-
ment(Compas B.E.,2001), and self-efficacy has important im-
pact on coping with pressure. Since sense of self-efficacy was
proposed by Bandura, it has gained widespread attention, and
been studied and used in various practice areas. At present,
psychology counseling and health education in schools has
been carrying out widely in China. Working efficiency’s close
related to the sense of self-efficacy of psychology counselors in
Schools. However, few study report can be found in this field.
Therefore, under today’s multivariate social background, un-
derstanding the self-efficacy of school psychological counselors
has important practical significance on enhancing the develop-
ment of psychological health of these staff and improving their
counseling level and quality. Today’s studies show quality and
capacity of counseling staff will affect counseling quality and
effect. This thesis basic on understanding the work situation of
primary and secondary school counseling staff and their self-
efficacy, exploring the relationship between the two to find the
way to improve the quality and effect of counseling staff.
Subjects and Methods
Study Sub jec ts
Counseling staff from primary and secondary schools in
Foshan City were selected by stratified random sampling
method. We stratified them according to school type (primary
and secondary school). Then, we sample counseling staff from
each layer. 125 questionnaires were sent out, 108 were taken
back, and 17 were excluded because of their invalidity, and the
ratio of callback valid questionnaire was 86.40%.
Study Tools
Self-made demographic characteristics questionnaire was
used, including age, gender, unit, education history, job types
(full-time or part-time), etc.
Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire (SCSQ) (Wang X.-D.,
1999) was also put into use, including 20 items, using multi-
ple-grade score method and listing 4 options after each coping
style, that are Disuse, Occasionally use, Sometime use and
Frequently use, with scores of 0, 1, 2, 3, respectively. The ques-
tionnaire can reflect the relationship between people’s different
coping features and their psychological health, which is made
up of 2 dimensions—positive and negative coping. When the
score of positive coping is higher, the score of psychological
problems or symptoms would be lower. Whereas, when the
score of negative coping is higher, the score of psychology
problems or symptoms would be higher. The test-retest correla-
tion coefficient of SCSQ is 0.89, α coefficient is 0.90. α coeffi-
cient of positive and negative coping style scale are 0.89 and
S. Y. CHENG ET AL. 227
0.78 respectively. For the validity, extracting factors by factor
analysis, and doing variance maximum oblique rotation for
factor model. Factor analysis shows that coping style item can
load to “positive” and “negative” factors, same as theoretical
General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) (Zhang Z.-J., 2005), to-
tally 10 items, related to self-confidence when individual suf-
fering setbacks or difficult. It takes the form of Likert 4-point
scale. Subjects according to their real situation answer all ques-
tions with Absolutely incorrect, Somewhat true, Most correct or
Completely correct, and the sequence of grade is 1-4. GSES has
good reliability and validity, α coefficient is 0.87, test-retest
reliability is 0.83. For the validity, the correlation coefficient of
10 items and total scale score is between 0.60 and 0.77. Factor
analysis extract one factor and explanatory variance is 47.09%,
showing that GSES has good construct validity. Self-efficacy in
this study was grouped according to the average score 2.6.
Statistic Me t hods
Database was built by the Epidate 3.0, and data was recorded
by two people which were analyzed bySPSS 13.0. took the
relative number index to the categorical data was statistically
described by ratio and proportion; the continuous data (obeyed
normal distribution) was statistically described by mean or
standard deviation; the comparison of ratio was computed by
chi-square test; the of the mean values between two groups
conducted by t test (we used the t' when variance not equal); the
comparison of the mean values among multiple groups con-
ducted by ANOVA; correlation between each scales was ana-
lyzed by Pearson correlation coefficient.
General Demographics
108 primary and secondary school counseling staffs were
investigated, including 18 males (16.67%) and 90 females
(83.33%), with age ranged from 22 to 47 years (mean 31.06 ±
6.49 years). 104 people are teachers (96.30%); others were 3
administrators (2.78%) and 1 education counselor (0.93%).
View from the education degrees: 4 cases were master or above
(3.70%), 61 bachelors (56.48%), 43 people were junior college
or below (39.82%); major with most subjects was Psychol-
ogy/Pedagogy with 55.56%. From the work types, we found
that full-time counseling staff were less with only 29.00%,
while the proportion of part-time staff was as much as 71.00%,
29.69% of which are voluntary consultants (consultation time is
not the workload), and 70.31% of part-time staff only doing
consult as part of his work (They also had tasks of teaching,
research and others).
Comparison of Coping Style and Self-Efficacy
Between Different Education Degree Staff
Table 1 shows that different academic staff have different
scores about positive coping styles (P < 0.05), the highest score
was gained by staff with Master's degree and above, while ones
with educational level of junior college or below gains the low-
est scores, with significant difference (P = 0.039). The result
indicates that with the improvement of education degree, coun-
seling capacity of positive coping of staff was growing. Not yet
found the difference among staff with different education de-
Comparison Coping Style and Self-Efficacy Between
Different Job Specificat io n Staff
Table 2 shows that different kinds of labors have different
score of negative coping styles. Score of negative coping styles
of part-time staff was higher than that of full-time staff, with
significant difference (P = 0.007). Staff with different work
style show different scores of self-efficacy, that is, full-time
staff have higher sense of self-efficacy than that of part-time
staff, with significant difference (P = 0.003). Not yet found
difference of positive coping styles between different staff of
job specification.
Comparison Coping Style and Self-Efficacy Between
Different Major Staff
As the Table 3 suggests that people of different major may
not have different scores in positive coping styles, negative
coping styles and self-efficacy.
Table 1.
Comparison of coping style and self-efficacy between different education degree staff.
Education degree N
± S F P
Master or above 4 2.56 ± 0.34
Bachelor 61 2.05 ± 0.41
Positive coping
Junior college or below 43 2.02 ± 0.40
3.343 0.039*
Master or above 4 1.03 ± 0.51
Bachelor 61 1.08 ± 0.54 Negative coping
Junior college or below 43 1.26 ± 0.58
1.325 0.270
Master or above 4 2.75 ± 0.29
Bachelor 61 2.60 ± 0.46 Self-efficacy
Junior college or below 43 2.60 ± 0.54
0.184 0.832
*P < 0.05
Table 2.
Comparison coping style and self-efficacy between different job specifications staff.
Job specifications N
± S t P
29 2.07 ± 0.31
Positive coping
Part-time 71 2.05 ± 0.46
0.235 0.815
Full-time 29 0.94 ± 0.36
Negative coping
Part-time 71 1.21 ± 0.59
2.786 0.007&**
Full-time 29 2.83 ± 0.39
Part-time 71 2.51 ± 0.49
3.097 0.003**
& is t' test; **P < 0.01
Table 3.
Comparison coping style and self-efficacy between different major staff.
Major N
± S t P
Psychology/Pedagogy 60 2.01 ± 0.42
Positive coping
Not Psychology/Pedagogy 48 2.12 ± 0.40
1.371 0.173
Psychology/Pedagogy 60 1.12 ± 0.53
Negative coping
Not Psychology/Pedagogy 48 1.20 ± 0.60
0.722 0.472
Psychology/Pedagogy 60 2.68 ± 0.52
Not Psychology/Pedagogy 48 2.50 ± 0.43
1.919 0.058
Comparison Coping Styles Between People with High
and Low Self-Efficacy
Table 4 shows that score of positive coping style of the high
self-efficacy group is higher than that of the low self-efficacy
group, with statistical significance (P = 0.011), which indicates
that those with higher self-efficacy more likely take mature
coping style. And in this study the score of negative coping
style has not been found significantly different between the
high and the low self-efficacy groups.
Correlation Analyze Between Self-Efficacy and
Coping Style
As what can be seen from table 5, for primary and secondary
school psychological counseling staff, there is positive correla-
tion p between self-efficacy and coping style. On contrary,
there is s negative correlation between self-efficacy and nega-
tive coping style, while with no statistical significance.
As an inner self-faith, self-efficacy is the deep inner motiva-
tion of psychological counseling staff when they are engaged in
psychological consults. It is also the foundation and motive
power to produce and increase the autonomous working moti-
vation. Once self-efficacy forms, it must have direct impact on
working enthusiasm, self-expectation and behaviors. It may
decide the emotional responses of psychological counseling
staff, such as stress state, anxious, depression and so on. In light
of this, on the one hand, if self-efficacy is not enough, it can
affect the physical and psychological health of psychological
counseling staff. On the other hand, if one keeps positive self-
efficacy, it can help counseling staff to improve and maintain
their physical and psychological health.
Table 4.
Comparison coping style between people with High and Low self-effi-
± S t P
Low 591.97 ± 0.43
coping High 492.17 ± 0.36
2.575 0.011*
Low 591.15 ± 0.53
coping High 491.16 ± 0.60
0.067 0.947
*P < 0.05
Table 5.
Correlation analyze between self-efficacy and coping style.
Positive coping Negative coping
r 0.307** 0.051
P 0.001 0.603
N108 108
** P < 0.01
S. Y. CHENG ET AL. 229
In this survey, we found that the higher the education degree
of the psychological counseling staff from primary and secon-
dary schools was, the more mature their coping style was.
Views from job specification, full-time staff had taken more
mature positive coping style than that of part-time staff, and
their self-efficacy was also higher than that of part-time staff. It
may be related to following factors: (1) Full-time staff own rich
psychological theory knowledge, and have accepted more
trainings about psychological counseling. They know how to
modify themselves when they are suffering from stress. While
part-time staffs are lack of advantages in these aspects, so they
are more likely to take negative coping style, which affects
self-efficacy in a certain degree. (2) The main working tasks of
part-time staff are teaching and doing research, and they do
part-time psychological counseling. In this situation, their en-
ergy must be diffused, and then plays negative impact on their
self-efficacy. The results of this survey suggest that, in order to
improve the self-efficacy and consulting outcome of primary
and secondary school staff, a management system with full-
time staff in certain working posts should be established. And
employees should have relevant qualifications, and be trained
with positive professional coping styles.
The results of this survey show that there is positive correla-
tion between self-efficacy and coping style for psychological
counseling staff in primary and secondary schools. Those who
have higher self-efficacy more likely to take positive coping
style than that of those with low self-efficacy, which is similar
to Pang L.-J.’s conclusion of self-efficacy study that self- effi-
cacy of teachers is closely correlated with the performance of
education behaviors, and compared to the staff with low sense
of self-efficacy, ones with high self-efficacy could tackle prob-
lems more effective. (Pang L.-J., 2005) Qiu X.-F. proposed that
if negative and inappropriate coping styles were taken repeat-
edly in the long term, the result of accumulation of stress and
increasing of burden would occur, which might push someone
to physical and psychological diseases. (Qiu X.-F., 2007) While
positive coping style is one of important protective factors
which can reduce pressure and resolve stress. Therefore, these
should become key research issues in future studies that how
can the psychological counseling staff in primary and secon-
dary schools maintain vigilant for their psychological health,
and pay more attention to train mature positive coping style,
change their immature negative coping style, and improve their
self-efficacy, which consequently can improve the quality and
effect of psychological counseling work. Literatures which
probe the relationship between quality of primary and secon-
dary school counseling staff and counseling quality are rare in
China at present. This thesis tried to explore which factors
could affect quality and effect of counseling from the angle of
self-efficacy of primary and secondary school counseling staff.
In this study, sample size is not so big, and the results we have
got require further researches. We suggest that counseling staff
in primary and secondary schools should be train with positive
coping style and improve their self-efficacy to improve quality
and effect of psychological counseling work.
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