The Development of Self-Efficacy Through Self Help Groups

Newransky, Kayser and Lombe (2014) surveyed 64 women in Tamil Nadu who were either widowed or whose husbands had left them to see if participation in an SHG had increased their self-efficacy. The implementing partner, Kalangarai, first piloted SHGs with this vulnerable group in 2005; this study found that the organization’s approach could play an important role in increasing members’ self-efficacy, particularly through frequent visits by facilitators and by providing regional trainings where women could master new behaviors. This mastery of experiences— along with exposure to vicarious experiences provided by social role models such as a respected facilitator— could contribute to higher self-esteem. Facilitators encouraged and motivated SHG members to take on challenges important to them and their communities. Women with high levels of self-efficacy were more likely to have higher levels of well-being.