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Purpose: To study the relationship between actual motor competence (AMC) and perceived motor competence (PMC) in a large sample of 6- to 12-year-old children. Method: The AMC and PMC were measured (N = 1,669, 55% boys) with the Athletic Skills Track and the Physical Self-Confidence Scale, respectively. A variable-centered approach was applied to examine the AMC–PMC association by means of correlation coefficients and Fisher’s z tests. Cluster analyses were used to identify profiles of children from a person-centered perspective. Results: The AMC–PMC correlation strengthened with increasing age (r = .084 in 6- to 7-year-olds to r = .416 in 10- to 11-year-olds). The person-centered approach revealed two profiles with corresponding levels of AMC and PMC, and two profiles with divergent levels. Discussion: In addition to clarifying the age-related increase in the association between AMC and PMC, the profiles from the person-centered approach result in new gateways for tailoring interventions to the needs of children with different AMC–PMC profiles.
de Witte, Hoeboer, and Coppens have an equal contribution to this study and therefore are mentioned as first author. de Witte, Hoeboer, and de Vries are with the Faculty of Health, Nutrition and Sports—Research Group Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Den Haag, The Netherlands. Coppens and Lenoir are with the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium. Coppens is also with the Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Elsene, Belgium. Platvoet and de Niet are with the HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen, Gelderland, The Netherlands. de Meester is with the Department of Physical Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.