Theory and research from the developmental psychology literature Indicate there is a developmental progression in the particular criteria or informational sources children use to evaluate their performance competencies. The present study was designed to test the possibility that certain psychological characteristics (i.e., perceived competence and perceived performance control) may also affect children's preference for the various sources of competence information that are available in the sport environment. Three psychological questionnaires were administered to 229 young soccer athletes to assess the variables of Interest. Multivariate regression and canonical correlation analyses revealed support for the predicted relationships. Children with external perceptions of performance control exhibited a greater preference for external information, while children with high perceived competence and an internal perception of control exhibited greater reliance on self-determined standards of performance and comparison of own performance with that of relevant peers. These results suggest that children differ from each other not only in the magnitude of their perceptions of competence but also in the criteria they use to evaluate that competence.
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