This investigation examined the extent to which perceptions of competence and importance predicted self-esteem. Players (N = 214) from three grade levels (3–4, 5–6, 7–8) completed questionnaires that assessed perceived basketball competence, as well as each player’s perception of how important it was to himself, his parents, his coach, and his team to be good at basketball. Three nonstepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that the set of predictor variables accounted for 20–28% of the variance in self-esteem across grade levels. The individual predictor variables significantly related to self-esteem were perceived competence and perceived parent importance for Grades 3–4, perceived competence for Grades 5–6, and perceived competence and perceived team importance for Grades 7–8. Perceived competence, however, consistently contributed most substantively to the prediction of self-esteem. These findings are discussed in relation to earlier studies and existing conceptual frameworks.
Vicki Ebbeck is with the Department of EXSS at Oregon State University, Langton Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331. Moira E. Stuart is with the Department of PEHR at Eastern Washington University, 526 Fifth St., Cheney, WA 99004. Both authors were at Oregon State University at the time of this study.