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The Perceived Competence Scale for Children

Susan Harter
Child Development
Vol. 53, No. 1 (Feb., 1982), pp. 87-97
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129640
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129640
Page Count: 11
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The Perceived Competence Scale for Children
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Abstract

A new self-report instrument, the Perceived Competence Scale for Children, is described. Emphasis is placed on the assessment of a child's sense of competence across different domains, instead of viewing perceived competence as a unitary construct. 3 domains of competence, each constituting a separate subscale, were identified: (a) cognitive, (b) social, and (c) physical. A fourth subscale, general self-worth, independent of any particular skill domain, was included. A new question format was devised which provides a broader range of responses and reduces the tendency to give socially desirable responses. The psychometric properties of the scale are presented for third through ninth grades. Emphasis is placed on its factorial validity. Each subscale defines a separate factor, indicating that children make clear differentiations among these domains. The factor structure is extremely stable across this grade range. The scale is viewed as an alternative to those existing self-concept measures of questionable validity and reliability.

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