Self-efficacy, Locus of Control and Life Satisfaction in Northern Ireland 2016/17

Date published: 08 November 2017

The Executive Office (TEO) today published figures for Northern Ireland for 2016/17 for three metrics:

Self-efficacy, Locus of Control & Life Satisfaction in Northern Ireland, 2016/17 front cover

•    Self-efficacy
•    Locus of Control
•    Life Satisfaction

Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is defined as a person’s belief about their capabilities to exercise influence over events that affect their lives. Those with high self-efficacy are seen as confident in their capabilities and produce sustained efforts to achieve their goals. In contrast, those with low self-efficacy often doubt their capabilities, are less ambitious and give up on their aims when challenged.

Self-efficacy is presented as an overall score, with a minimum 5 and maximum 25. A score from 5-17 represents low self-efficacy and a score from 18-25 represents high self-efficacy.

The mean self-efficacy score for the Northern Ireland population was relatively high in 2016/17; 19.2 out of a possible 25. This has remained consistent with mean self-efficacy scores from both 2014/15 and 2015/16.

In 2016/17, 22.6% of people had low self-efficacy. This represents a decrease from 24.3% in 2014/15 - however, this change was not statistically significant.

A number of statistically significant differences were found when comparing mean self-efficacy scores and the percentage with low self-efficacy across different sections of society in Northern Ireland. This was most prominent in relation to deprivation, employment status and health.

Locus of control

Locus of control explains the degree to which a person feels they have control over their life. Those with internal locus of control believe in their own influence over life events and are confident that their actions can have direct effect on their life outcomes. Those with external locus of control believe the converse and appoint personal outcomes as the result of fate and factors outside of their control.

Locus of control is presented as an overall score, with a minimum 5 and maximum 25. A lower score indicates a more external locus of control and a higher score indicates a more internal locus of control.

The mean locus of control score for the Northern Ireland population was 16.9 in 2016/17, compared with 17.1 in 2014/15. This decrease was found to be statistically significant.

Statistically significant differences in mean locus of control scores were found across a number of different sections of society in Northern Ireland; most prominently in relation to deprivation, employment status, religion and health.

Life satisfaction

Life satisfaction relates to an individual’s satisfaction with their life overall. It is presented as a score, with a minimum of 0 (not at all satisfied) and a maximum of 10 (completely satisfied).

The mean life satisfaction score for Northern Ireland was 7.8 in 2016/17; the same score as reported in 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Statistically significant differences in mean life satisfaction scores were identified across a number of different sections of society in Northern Ireland. This was most prominent in relation to deprivation, employment status, health and marital status

The report is available on The Executive Office’s website at under the statistics and research section.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Media enquiries to TEO Press Office on 028 9037 8201. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number on 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
  2. Further information relating to the collection and production of the statistics can be obtained by contacting:
Paul Flynn
The Executive Office
Programme for Government Analytics
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast
BT4 3SG
Telephone: 028 905 22091
Email: paul.flynn@executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk

Share this page

Latest news

Back to top