Inter- and intra-individual differences in teachers' self-efficacy: A multilevel factor exploration

Marjolein Zee*, Helma M Y Koomen, Francine C. Jellesma, Jolien Geerlings, Peter F. de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study explored inter- and intra-individual differences in teachers' self-efficacy (TSE) by adapting Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy's (2001) Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) to the domain- and student-specific level. Multilevel structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the factor structure underlying this adapted instrument, and to test for violations of measurement invariance over clusters. Results from 841 third- to sixth-grade students and their 107 teachers supported the existence of one higher-order factor (Overall TSE) and four lower-order factors (Instructional Strategies, Behavior Management, Student Engagement, and Emotional Support) at both the between- and within-teacher level. In this factor model, intra-individual differences in TSE were generally larger than inter-individual differences. Additionally, the presence of cluster bias in 18 of 24 items suggested that the unique domains of student-specific TSE at the between-teacher level cannot merely be perceived as the within-teacher level factors' aggregates. These findings underscore the importance of further investigating TSE in relation to teacher, student, and classroom characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-56
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Cluster bias
  • Intra-individual differences
  • Multilevel confirmatory factor analysis
  • Teacher self-efficacy
  • Upper elementary school


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