The primary aim of this study was to examine developmental differences in children's evaluation of their physical competence within the physical education lesson. Participants (N = 160) from two groups in secondary school (Year 7 and Year 10) completed two questionnaires that measured their levels of perceived competence and the criteria used to assess competence. The actual level of a participant’s physical competence was ascertained through teacher evaluation. Univariate and multivariate analyses of data disclosed three main findings. First, children’s accuracy in evaluating their own competence increases with age. Second, the sources of information children use to judge their ability is also age-dependent. Gender differences also emerged, indicating that overall males exhibited a greater preference for game outcome/ease of learning new skills as criteria to judge their competence. Third, the information sources children use in competency judgments was directly linked to the accuracy of these judgments.
Beverly McKiddie and Ian Maynard are with the Chichester Institute at Bishop Otter College, College Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 4PE, United Kingdom.