Self-efficacy, self-discipline and academic performance: Testing a context-specific mediation model

Kyoung Rae Jung, Anne Q. Zhou, Richard M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In educational psychology, academic self-efficacy and self-regulation of effort have been identified as significant non-cognitive predictors of academic performance in college students, even above and beyond cognitive predictors (e.g., SAT, ACT scores). According to social cognitive theory and research on self-regulated learning, self-regulation of effort mediates the association between individual traits and academic performance. Academic self-efficacy and conscientiousness are two individual traits that predict academic performance in college students. Less attention has been given to the mediation links and the confounding effect of traits on self-regulation of effort. In this study, we defined self-regulation of effort in academic settings as academic self-discipline and examined the relationships between non-cognitive predictors, cognitive predictors, traits, and academic outcomes. We found academic self-discipline mediated the relationship between academic self-efficacy and academic performance, after controlling for conscientiousness and ACT scores. The importance of academic self-discipline in academic performance is addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Academic self-discipline
  • Academic self-efficacy
  • Conscientiousness
  • GPA
  • Self-regulation of effort


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