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Perceived motor competence (PMC) is a psychological construct that may be influenced by various environmental factors. This study aimed to analyze differences in PMC of children from four diverse countries. The sample was comprised of 231 Brazilian, 129 Australian, 140 Portuguese, and 114 American children, aged 5–8 years. The PMC was assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children. Differences in PMC among countries were verified using Kruskal-Wallis tests, separately by age and gender. For girls (from the age of six), differences were found in the leap, slide, hit, and catch, as well as the sum of object control skills and total score. For boys, differences were found among countries in the gallop, jump, slide, hit, catch, and roll, as well as the sum of locomotor and object control skills, and the total skill score. Overall, American children seem to perceive themselves more competent compared to children from other countries. Leisure and sport activities in each country may influence the construction of PMC.
Feitoza, Henrique, Cavalcante, and Cattuzzo are with the Higher School of Physical Education, University of Pernambuco, Brazil. Barnett is with the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Australia. Ré is with the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities; Physical Education and Health, University of São Paulo, Brazil. Lopes is with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), School of Education of Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal. Webster is with the School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Robinson is with the School of Kinesiology and Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.