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David Markland

According to Deci and Ryan’s (1985) self-determination theory, perceptions of self-determination moderate the effects of perceived competence on intrinsic motivation, with perceived competence only positively influencing intrinsic motivation under conditions of some self-determination. Vallerand’s (1997) hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation suggests that self-determination and competence have only independent effects on intrinsic motivation. The aim of this study was to test these competing models. Women aerobics participants (n = 146) completed measures of self-determination, perceived competence, and intrinsic motivation for exercise. Moderated hierarchical regression revealed a significant interactive effect of self-determination and perceived competence. A plot of the regression of intrinsic motivation on perceived competence under conditions of high and low self-determination, however, showed that the interaction did not take the expected form. Variations in perceived competence positively influenced intrinsic motivation only under conditions of low self-determination. This suggests that it is particularly important to foster perceptions of competence among individuals low in self-determination.

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Justine B. Allen and Bruce L. Howe

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between athlete ability and coach feedback with perceived competence and satisfaction among female adolescent athletes. Athletes (N = 123) reported their perceptions of coaches' use of feedback, their own field hockey competence, and satisfaction with the coach and team involvement. In addition, coaches' ratings of athletes' ability were obtained. Analyses revealed that both ability and coach feedback were significantly related to perceived competence and satisfaction. Specifically, a hierarchical regression analysis revealed that higher ability, more frequent praise and information, and less frequent encouragement and corrective information were related to higher perceived competence. Further, a canonical correlation analysis revealed that higher ability, frequent praise and information after a good performance, and frequent encouragement and corrective information after an error were associated with greater satisfaction with the coach and team involvement. The results are discussed in relation to Harter's (1978) competence motivation theory).

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Liz Haslem, Carol Wilkinson, Kevin A. Prusak, William F. Christensen, and Todd Pennington

The purpose of this study was (a) to test a hypothesized model of motivation within the context of conceptual physical education (CPE), and (b) to explore the strength and directionality of perceived competence for physical activity as a possible mediator for health-related fitness knowledge (HRFK) and physical activity behaviors. High school students (N = 280) at the end of a CPE course completed the following: Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire–2, Godin Leisure–Time Exercise Questionnaire, Perceived Competence Scale, and a HRFK Questionnaire. Structural equation modeling analysis was used to explore the relationships between the variables of HRFK, perceived competence, motivation, and physical activity. The analysis resulted in a modified model that showed a relationship between perceived competence and physical activity, mediated by introjected and identified regulation. A relationship also existed between HRFK and external regulation indicating students felt controlled. Suggested value-promoting activities could help students value concepts being taught.

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You Fu and Ryan D. Burns

; Goodway & Rudisill, 1997 ; Harter, 1978 ). Three motivational constructs explored in the literature include perceived competence, enjoyment, and self-efficacy. According to the competence motivation theory ( Harter, 1978 ), perceived competence and enjoyment are significant contributors to physical

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Beverley McKiddie and Ian W. Maynard

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.

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Deborah L. Feltz and Eugene W. Brown

Harter's (1979) perceived competence subscale was modified to specifically apply to soccer in order to compare young soccer players' general self-esteem, perceived physical competence, and perceived soccer competence scores in predicting players' actual soccer ability. Young soccer players (N = 217), 8 to 13 years of age, were tested on five soccer skill tests. Players also completed Harter's (1979) Perceived Competence Scale for Children and our perceived soccer competence subscale. We hypothesized that perceived soccer competence would have high internal consistency and would be a better predictor of soccer ability than either perceived physical competence or general self-esteem. Results indicated that the perceived soccer competence subscale had the highest internal consistency reliability coefficient, and that it was also slightly more predictive of soccer ability than perceived physical competence as indicated by multivariate multiple regression analysis and canonical correlation analysis. Future studies investigating perceived competence as a motivational variable in specific youth sports may find the sport-specific perceived competence measure to provide additional information to Harter's questionnaire.

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Betty Rose, Dawne Larkin, and Bonnie G. Berger

Perceived competence and global self-worth of children who were poorly coordinated (n = 68) and children who were well-coordinated (n = 62) were examined. Measures of perceived athletic and scholastic competence, social acceptance, physical appearance, behavioral conduct, and global self-worth were obtained using Harter’s (1985) Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC). Girls and boys, ages 8 to 12, were categorized as poorly coordinated or well-coordinated using their scores on the McCarron (1982) Neuromuscular Development battery. Univariate analyses, using a 2 × 2 design (Coordination × Gender), showed a main effect of coordination in all domains, with the poorly coordinated group having the lower mean scores. In the scholastic, behavioral, and global sphere, coordination by gender interactions were influenced by the high perceptions of the well-coordinated girls. The interactions demonstrated for scholastic and global domains also were influenced by the low perceptions of the girls with poor coordination. Self-perceptions were modified by gender and coordination.

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Larissa True, Ali Brian, Jackie Goodway, and David Stodden

Motor competence is associated with psychological and physical health outcomes. A reciprocal relationship between motor competence and perceptions of physical competence exists, but the developmental trajectory of the motor competence/perceived competence relationship is not well understood. Standardized assessments take a product- or process-oriented approach, but research concerning the motor competence/perceived competence relationship is limited to using process-oriented assessments. It is unknown whether boys and girls use product and process information differentially in the development of perceived competence. Children (N = 411) were aggregated into age groups. Perceived competence and product and process aspects of motor competence were assessed. Older children were more skillful than younger children but reported lower perceived competence. The motor competence/perceived competence association increased for both motor competence measures across age groups. Girls demonstrated stronger associations between process measures of motor competence and perceived competence, while boys indicated stronger associations between product measures of motor competence and perceived competence. When both motor competence measures were used to predict perceived competence, more variance in perceived competence was explained, compared with using independent predictors. The strength of the prediction increased across age groups, indicating that motor competence is a stronger predictor of perceived competence in older children.

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Glyn C. Roberts, Douglas A. Kleiber, and Joan L. Duda

This study investigated the relationship of sport participation to perceived competence. Perceived competence is considered to be an important determinant of achievement motivation and behavior. Male and female fourth and fifth graders (N = 143) were given Harter's (Note 1) Perceived Competence Scales and were interviewed to determine their involvement in organized sport activities. Further, the children were asked to give their perceptions of competence relative to teammates, general attributions about sport outcomes, and their persistence and expectancies of future success. The results revealed that participants in organized sports were higher in perceived competence, were more persistent, and had higher expectations of future success. The causal attributions of participant children were ability oriented and generally supported the perceived competence findings. The results are consistent with the statement that perceived competence in physical skills has an important influence on the participation and motivation of children in sport contexts.

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Lavon Williams and Diane L. Gill

Understanding the role of perceived competence in the motivation of sport and physical activity is an important endeavor. This study attempted to examine the role of perceived competence by (a) investigating its relationship with goal orientations as hypothesized by Nicholls’s theory of achievement motivation, and (b) testing a proposed model linking goal orientations and motivated behavior. Students (N = 174) completed questionnaires assessing goal orientations, perceived competence, intrinsic interest, and effort. Regression analyses revealed that task orientation was a good predictor of effort; however, the interaction of ego orientation and perceived competence failed to adequately predict effort. Path analysis results revealed that task goal orientation, but not ego orientation, directly influenced perceived competence, intrinsic interest, and effort. In addition, intrinsic interest played a mediating role between perceived competence and effort and between task goal orientation and effort.