Background: The aim of this study was to describe maternal self-efficacy beliefs within the parenting domain and maternal ratings of pre-school children's language abilities, where the child has a communication disability. The association between these two constructs was also investigated.
Method: Twenty-five mothers completed a questionnaire consisting of two subsections: parental self-efficacy and maternal rating of child language ability. Convenience sampling was used, and mothers with children attending four special-education schools in the Pretoria area consented to participate in the study.
Results: The results revealed that mothers generally had high self-efficacy beliefs within certain parenting roles, in spite of the fact that their child has a communication disability. The lowest competence was reported in discipline and teaching roles. In addition, mothers' reports of patterns of child ability correlated with what has been written in the literature. Correlation statistics generally revealed weak association between the constructs, with the strongest association between the parental domain of discipline and maternal reports of their child's receptive language abilities.
Conclusions: Possible reasons for the weak correlation values are proposed. These include factors that may alter the way parents of children with disabilities construct and maintain self-efficacy beliefs; as well as the fact that the two sections of the questionnaire measure maternal appraisals at two very different levels (objective observations and evaluative self-regulatory processes).