"I Just Want to Work Hard": Self-Efficacy and the Social Contexts in Adolescents’ ICT Use

Abstract

The present article is drawn from a year-long ethnographic study of adolescents’ uses of information and communication technologies
(ICT) and their perceptions of themselves and their uses in multiple contexts. Examining three cases, the author shows how
ICT provided participants with powerful opportunities to develop strong self-efficacy beliefs. Considering their beliefs and
actions more broadly, the author also shows how factors such as individual interests and adult control were instrumental in
shaping relationships between self-efficacy and ICT use and complicate the common perception that ICT, in and of itself, is
inherently motivating for youth. Emphasizing the significance of looking beyond particular contexts, task, and/or domains
of activity, which is uncommon in studies of ICT use and self-efficacy development, the author discusses the value and implications
of the self-efficacy beliefs that young people can develop through ICT use.

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