Memory self-efficacy, aging, and memory performance: The roles of effort and persistence

Gregory D. Wells, Carrie Esopenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The relative importance of mental effort, as indicated by strategy use, and persistence as potential mediators of the memory self-efficacy (MSE)/memory performance relationship was investigated within a sample of 26 adults aged 65 years and older. It was found that persistence but not strategy use was predictive of performance on a free-recall task. Age-related declines were found in persistence, performance, and MSE but not in strategy use. Counter to expectation, neither strategy use nor persistence was significantly related to a global measure of MSE. These results highlight the importance in MSE research of distinguishing mental effort and persistence, of task-specific measures of MSE, and of considering age-related changes within the elderly population. Implications for MSE intervention programs are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-530
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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