“I want to do it myself!” “I can do it!” Anyone who has been around young children has heard these two statements. Statements such as these reflect children asserting their independence and reflect children's sense of self. Children believe in themselves. Only as they grow older and interact more with their environment and with others do children start to have self-doubts that challenge their self-esteem and self-efficacy. Self-esteem is a global concept that has been defined as one's general feelings of self-worth, and Albert Bandura coined the term self-efficacy to describe one's belief in his or her ability to do a specific task. This entry describes self-efficacy in relation to gender and race/ethnicity, positive self-esteem, talented and gifted students, and fostering positive self-beliefs.

Gender and Race/Ethnicity

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