Predictors of self-efficacy among residents of low-income neighborhoods: Implications for social work practice

Lea Zanbar, Hani Nouman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Summary: Assisting the development of clients’ self-efficacy and improving their quality of life by identifying and activating their strengths and resources is at the heart of social work. The present study therefore examines the unique and combined contribution of internal resources (self-esteem, mastery, and hope) and external resources (social support, social competence, and community involvement) to the explanation of the variance in self-efficacy in a needy population. The sample consisted of 400 residents of 30 low-socioeconomic status neighborhoods in Israel, a population that represents the primary clients of welfare services. Findings: Hierarchical regression analyses showed that all the internal and external resources predicted higher levels of self-efficacy, save for social support. The fact that social support was not associated with self-efficacy might be explained by the uniquely high levels of social support found for all the participants and the negligible variance in this variable. The finding of a consistently high level of social support in a sample of low-socioeconomic status residents is an important finding in and of itself. Applications: Practical recommendations are offered relating to the need for social workers to focus on identifying their clients’ internal and social resources, strengthen existing resources, and create opportunities to enhance those that are lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-532
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Social work
  • consumer
  • poverty
  • quantitative research
  • social work research
  • strengths approaches


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