Social Indicators Research

, Volume 113, Issue 1, pp 551-561

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The Importance of General Self-Efficacy for the Quality of Life of Adolescents with Chronic Conditions

  • Jane M. CrammAffiliated withInstitute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University
  • , Mathilde M. H. StratingAffiliated withInstitute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University
  • , Marij E. RoebroeckAffiliated withDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine and Physical Therapy, Erasmus University Medical Centre
  • , Anna P. NieboerAffiliated withInstitute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Email author 


We investigated the influence of general self-efficacy perceived by adolescents with chronic conditions and parents on quality of life. This cross-sectional study used the general self-efficacy scale and DISABKIDS condition-generic module to survey adolescents (92/293; 31 %) with type I diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, kidney/urological conditions, and neuromuscular disorders; and parents (121/293; 41 %). Self perceived and parents’ perceived general self-efficacy of adolescents was compared using paired t-tests, and adolescents’ quality of life and general self-efficacy were compared among conditions using analysis of variance. Bivariate correlations between general self-efficacy and quality of life were identified, and multiple regression sought predictors of quality of life after controlling for background variables. Social quality of life was lowest among those with neuromuscular disorders. General self-efficacy was highest among adolescents with cystic fibrosis and lowest among those with urological conditions. Parents’ perceptions of general self-efficacy were higher than adolescents’ (p ≤ 0.05), although absolute differences were small. General self-efficacy perceived by parents and adolescents was related to emotional, physical, and social quality of life. Adolescents’ perceived self-efficacy predicted all quality of life domains. Parents’ perceptions of the adolescents self-efficacy predicted the adolescents’ social quality of life (β = 0.19; p ≤ 0.01). General self-efficacy of adolescents with chronic conditions as perceived by themselves and their parents is important for adolescents’ quality of life. Interventions to improve general self-efficacy should benefit quality of life among these adolescents.


Self-efficacy Quality of Life Chronic condition Adolescent Parent