Skip to main content
Log in

The relationship of computer self-efficacy expectations to computer interest and course enrollment in college

  • Published:
Sex Roles Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Gender differences in perceived self-efficacy for computer use may help account for differential computer interest and course enrollment at the college level. Three hundred sixty-eight students completed a two-page questionnaire assessing perceived computer self-efficacy, plans to take a computer science course, perceived importance of computing skills, and interest in learning about computers. Men rated themselves higher than did women for perceived self-efficacy. They were also more positive on the cognitive outcome measures, but with computer self-efficacy held constant, the magnitude of these differences was decreased, suggesting that perceived self-efficacy may be an important consideration when examining gender differences in computer interest and use.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Bandura, A. Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1977. (a)

    Google Scholar 

  • Bandura, A. Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 1977, 84, 191–215. (b)

    Google Scholar 

  • Bandura, A. Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist, 1982, 37, 122–147.

    Google Scholar 

  • Betz, N. E. Prevalence, distribution and correlates of math anxiety in college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1978, 25, 441–448.

    Google Scholar 

  • Betz, N. E., & Hackett, G. The relationship of career-related self-efficacy expectations to perceived career options in college men and women. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1981, 28, 399–410.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boli, J., Katchadourian, H., & Mahoney, S. The Stanford curriculum study: Looking at student course choices and how they vary. Campus Reports Supplement, October 19, 1983, p. 13.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brody, L., & Fox, L. H. An accelerative intervention program for mathematically gifted girls. In L. H. Fox, L. Brody, & D. Tobin (eds.), Women and the mathematical mystique. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press, 1980.

    Google Scholar 

  • The College Board. 1984 Advanced Placement Program national summary reports. New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 1984.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dachey, K. Computing not gender neutral: Females more intimidated. The Stanford Daily, April 8, 1983, p. 5.

  • Dweck, D. C., & Bush, E. S. Sex differences in learned helplessness: I. Differential debilitation with peer and adult evaluators. Developmental Psychology, 1976, 12, 147–156.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hackett, G., & Betz, N. E. A self-efficacy approach to the career development of women. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1981, 81, 326–339.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hess, R. D., & Miura, I. T. Gender differences in enrollment in computer camps and classes. Sex Roles, 1985, 13, 193–203.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jagacinski, C. M., LeBold, W. K., & Salvendy, G. Predicting persistence in computer-related fields for men and women. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles, CA, August 1985.

  • Kiesler, S., Sproull, L., & Eccles, J. S. Second-class citizens? Psychology Today, March 1983, pp. 41–48.

  • Markoff, J. Who's in front? InfoWorld, 1983, 5, 32–36.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miura, I. T., & Hess, R. D. Sexual stereotypes in titles of educational and entertainment software. Paper presented at the Western Psychological Association Convention, Seattle, WA, May 1986.

  • Naiman, A. On video arcades: A microsermon. Classroom Computer News, September/October 1982, pp. 82–83, 94.

  • Saunders, J. What are the real problems involved in getting computers into the high school? The Mathematics Teacher, 1978, 71, 443–447.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stein, A. H., & Smithells, J. Age and sex differences in children's sex-role standards about achievement. Development Psychology, 1969, 1, 252–259.

    Google Scholar 

  • United States National Center for Educational Statistics. Digest of Educational Statistics, 1985, (From Statistical Abstracts, 1985, p. 158).

  • Winkle, L. W., & Mathews, W. M. Computer equity comes of age. Phi Delta Kappan, 1982, 63, 314–315.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

The author wishes to thank Dr. Martin Ford and Dr. Albert Bandura for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. This research was supported by a grant from the San Jose State University Foundation. Portions of this research were reported at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association in San Francisco, April 1986.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Miura, I.T. The relationship of computer self-efficacy expectations to computer interest and course enrollment in college. Sex Roles 16, 303–311 (1987).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: