Children’s Perceived Physical Competence at Different Categories of Physical Activity

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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This study explored whether children differentiate between their physical capabilities at play activities, informal recreational activities, and formal competitive activities. Harter’s (11) six-item Athletic Competence subscale from the SelfPerception Profile for Children was administered to 578 children and adolescents (ages 7-15 years). The items were modified to refer to three different categories of physical activity instead of sport or outdoor games as used in the original subscale. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed that children differentiated between the three categories of physical activity, and that the competitive sport category was their area of lowest perceived competence. Males had higher levels of perceived competence than females in each category.

E. Mullan and D. Markland are with the School of Sport, Health and Physical Education Sciences at the University of Wales, Bangor, Ffriddoedd Building, Victoria Drive, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2EN, United Kingdom. J. Albinson is with the Department of Physical and Health Education, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON Canada K7L 3N6.

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