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Relationships Between Self-efficacy, Perceived Competence, And Gross Motor Skills In Children: 943 Board #165 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Calabro, Miguel A.1; Waldron, Jennifer J.2; Welk, Gregory J.1; Ihmels, Michelle1; Cobby, Rebecca1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2005 - Volume 37 - Issue 5 - p S181
C-31: Free Communication/Poster – Psychology in Athletics: THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2005 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, OOM: Ryman C2

1Iowa State University, Ames, IA

2University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA.

(Sponsor: Dr. Warren D. Franke, FACSM)


Self-efficacy and perceptions of competence have been frequently correlated with children's physical activity behavior. To date, few studies have examined associations between children's perceptions of competence/skill and actual motor skill abilities.

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship of gross motor skills with three commonly used self-report measures of perceived motor skills.

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The participants in the study were recruited from a summer activity camp. The total sample included 15 boys and 15 girls between the ages of 8 and 11. Each participant completed a survey battery that included a commonly used Self-Efficacy (SE) measure (Dishman and Motl), Harter's measure of Perceived Competence (PC) and the Sources of Competence Information Scale (SCIS). The instruments were administered in a counterbalanced design to avoid order effects from administration. The Test of Gross Motor Development II was administered to each participant to assess overall gross motor skills. Participants were evaluated on 6 locomotor skills and 6 object control skills and aggregate scores from these components were combined into an age-adjusted outcome measure (gross motor quotient - GMQ) that reflects overall gross motor ability. Descriptive statistics were computed for the measures and correlations between GMQ and the psychosocial correlates were conducted to examine relationships among the measures.

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The correlations between SE and PC were moderate for boys (r = .61) but low and negative for girls (r = −.30). In boys, SE and PC were both moderately correlated with GMQ (r = .70 and r = .78, respectively). In girls, only the SE measure was correlated with GMQ (r = .69). The correlations with the SCIS subscales of Peer Acceptance, Internal Standards and Social Evaluation varied between boys and girls suggesting that there are gender differences in sources of information for making self perceptions of competence.

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The results suggest that self-efficacy and perceptions of competence are related constructs in boys but they may be independent in girls. The moderate to high correlations with GMQ for boys suggests that boy's perceptions are related to their actual level of motor skills.

©2005The American College of Sports Medicine