• General Self-Efficacy;
  • Voting Behavior;
  • Youth;
  • Internal Political Efficacy;
  • Pearlin Mastery Index

Political science traditionally conceptualizes efficacy only in relation to politics and government. In this article, we look beyond political efficacy and examine the effect of general self-efficacy on young adults' voting behavior. General self-efficacy, an individual's estimation of capacity to operate successfully across a variety of domains, is often important to the behavioral decisions of individuals entering a new domain of activity. With data from the Children of the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, we examine the effect of general self-efficacy on voting behavior among young, first-time voters. We find that general self-efficacy has a positive effect on voter turnout, and this effect is strongest for young people from low socioeconomic-status families.