Children’s Self-Perceived and Actual Motor Competence in Relation to Their Peers

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Abstract
Motor skill competence enables children to move with efficiency and confidence in a variety of physically challenging situations. A child who lacks motor skill competence may be less inclined to take part in physical activities in which his or her peers excel. In this regard, the development of motor competence and children’s perception of their motor abilities may play an important role in ensuring sufficiently physically active adults. To better understand the role of motor competence in children’s participation in physical activity, this study examined children’s perception of their motor competence in comparison to others with their actual motor competence. Data were collected from 1031 children in grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 and between the ages of 8 to 12 years from elementary and junior schools. Using the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) protocols, physical competence and perceived physical competence were obtained from the Canadian Agility and Movement Skill Assessment and the CAPL questionnaire, respectively. Results from this study support previous research as children’s ability to accurately perceive their motor competence increased with age/grade. Still, over half of the participants in this study were not able to accurately perceive their motor competence. In addition, as grade increased from 3 to 6, children over-estimated their abilities less and underestimated their abilities more. This lack of ability to accurately estimate their abilities may be impacting children’s level of physical activity and should be addressed when promoting physical activity.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/children5060072

Children’s Self-Perceived and Actual Motor Competence in Relation to Their Peers

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