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Configurations of actual and perceived motor competence among children : associations with motivation for sports and global self-worth

Bardid, Farid and De Meester, An and Tallir, Isabel and Cardon, Greet and Lenoir, Matthieu and Haerens, Leen (2016) Configurations of actual and perceived motor competence among children : associations with motivation for sports and global self-worth. Human Movement Science, 50. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1872-7646

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Abstract

The present study used a person-centred approach to examine whether different profiles based on actual and perceived motor competence exist in elementary school children. Multilevel regression analyses were conducted to explore how children with different motor competence-based profiles might differ in their autonomous motivation for sports and global self-worth. Validated questionnaires were administered to 161 children (40% boys; age=8.82±0.66years) to assess their perceived motor competence, global self-worth, and motivation for sports. Actual motor competence was measured with the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder. Cluster analyses identified four motor competence-based profiles: two groups were characterized by corresponding levels of actual and perceived motor competence (i.e., low-low and high-high) and two groups were characterized by divergent levels of actual and perceived motor competence (i.e., high-low and low-high). Children in the low-low and high-low group displayed significantly lower levels of autonomous motivation for sports and lower levels of global self-worth than children in the low-high and high-high group. These findings emphasize that fostering children's perceived motor competence might be crucial to improve their motivation for sports and their global self-worth. Teachers and instructors involved in physical education and youth sports should thus focus on both actual and perceived motor competence.