Self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977) suggests that persons develop a sense of efficacy based primarily upon past performance accomplishments in specific situations and settings in which they function. The present investigation assessed the academic and social self-efficacy beliefs of mainstreamed mildly handicapped, gifted, and nonhandicapped students in regular education classrooms. Mainstreamed mildly handicapped students reported lower academic and social self-efficacy than their nonhandicapped and gifted peers. No differences in academic self-efficacy were reported between gifted and nonhandicapped students; however, gifted students reported lower social self-efficacy beliefs than nonhandicapped students. Implications for mainstreaming practices and future research are discussed.
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