Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Minna Ikävalko, Erkko Sointu, Matthew C. Lambert & Jaana Viljaranta (2022): Students’ self-efficacy in self-regulation together with behavioural and emotional strengths: investigating their self-perceptions, European Journal of Special Needs Education, DOI: 10.1080/08856257.2022.2127083


Open Access


Students’ self-perceptions are a foundation for educational and psychosocial development. In order to investigate self-perceptions, we need to recognise the preconceptions (e.g. doubts and confidence) students hold about themselves. In this study, we examined 10–16-year-old students’ (N=599) self–perceptions from the viewpoints of the sources of self-efficacy in self-regulation and behavioural and emotional strengths. Specifically, we used descriptive analyses to examine whether students’ ages or received pedagogical support played a role in how they perceived themselves, and whether these viewpoints are related to each other. Our results indicate that, in general, primary school students perceived their sources of self-efficacy in self-regulation and strengths more positively than did lower secondary school students. However, the experience of stress and anxiety in task situations did not differ between the groups. Further, pedagogical support did not play a significant role in how primary school students perceived themselves, whereas in lower secondary school, significant differences were found in several areas. Finally, we found that the sources of self–efficacy in self-regulation and strengths were related in both primary and lower secondary school settings.