Self-efficacy, Locus of Control & Life Satisfaction in Northern Ireland 2018/19

Date published: 30 October 2019

The Executive Office (TEO) today published figures for Northern Ireland for 2018/19 for three metrics:

Statistical news release - OFMDFM
  • Self-efficacy is defined as a person’s belief about their capabilities to exercise influence over events that affect their lives. It is presented as an overall score, with a minimum of 5 and maximum of 25. A score from 5-17 indicates low self-efficacy and a score from 18-25 represents high self-efficacy
  • Locus of control explains the degree to which a person feels they have control over their life.  It is presented as an overall score, with minimum of 5 and maximum of 25. A lower score indicates a more external locus of control, i.e. a belief that outside factors shape one’s life, and a higher score indicates a more internal locus of control, i.e. a belief that the individual has control over their own life.
  • 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).

Key findings

Self-efficacy

  • At 19.3, the 2018/19 estimate for mean self-efficacy score was not significantly different to previous years (19.2 in 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 19.3 in 2017/18). This suggests that, on average, people in Northern Ireland have a relatively high belief in their abilities to produce results or effects and this belief appears to have remained stable over the last five years.

Draft Programme for Government and Northern Ireland Civil Service Outcomes Delivery Plan

  • The report provides data for two population indicators included in the outcomes framework underpinning the draft Programme for Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service Outcomes Delivery Plan:
     
    • Confidence (as measured by self-efficacy) – This indicator is measured by the proportion of individuals in Northern Ireland aged 16 and over with low self-efficacy.
      Latest position: In 2018/19, 19.2% of individuals aged 16 and over in Northern Ireland had low self-efficacy. This represents a significant decrease from the 2014/15 baseline year (24.3%).
    • Confidence of the population aged 60 years or older (as measured by self-efficacy) – This indicator is measured by the proportion of individuals in Northern Ireland aged 60 and over with low self-efficacy.
      Latest position: In 2018/19, 21.5% of individuals aged 60 and over in Northern Ireland had low self-efficacy. This represents a significant decrease from the 2014/15 baseline year (26.9%).

Locus of control

  • At 17.0, the 2018/19 estimate for mean locus of control represents a significant increase from 2017/18 (16.9), suggesting people in Northern Ireland have an increased belief that they themselves (rather than external factors) control the events of their lives.  Note that the 2018/19 estimate is not significantly different to the scores for 2014/15, 2015/16 or 2016/17.

Life satisfaction

  • At 7.8, the 2018/19 estimate for mean score represents a significant decrease from 2017/18 (7.9), suggesting people in Northern Ireland are less satisfied with their lives.  Note that the 2018/19 estimate is not significantly different to the scores for 2014/15, 2015/16 or 2016/17 (all 7.8).

Different sections of society

  • For all metrics, statistically significant differences were found when comparing groups from each of the following six breakdowns: age, employment status, health, disability, marital status and local government district.
  • Notably, the largest proportions of people with low self-efficacy (both among the population aged 16+ and among those aged 60 and over) were found among those reporting bad / very bad health and this group also had the lowest mean scores for self-efficacy, locus of control and life satisfaction.

Publication

The report is available on the Statistcis and Research section of the Executive Office’s website at: www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/publications/self-efficacy-locus-control-life-satisfaction-northern-ireland-201819 

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media enquiries should be directed to the Executive Office Press Office on 028 9037 8201. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
  2. Further information relating to the collection and production of the statistics can be obtained by contacting:

PfG Analytics
The Executive Office
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast
BT4 3SR

Telephone: 028 9052 0021
E-mail: pfganalytics@executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk 

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