Abstract

Little is understood about the impact of level of motor competence on self-perceptions in adolescence, in particular how this may differentially affect girls and boys. A sample of 1,568 14-year-old participants (766 girls and 802 boys) were grouped into four motor competence levels (very low to high) based on the McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development (MAND). Self-perceptions were assessed using the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents. Boys had higher self-perceptions of global self-worth, athletic competence, and physical appearance, whereas girls had higher scores for close friendships and behavioral conduct. Main effects in the predicted direction were found for motor competence for self-perceptions of global self-worth, athletic competence, physical appearance, close friendships, social acceptance, and romantic appeal. These findings indicate that level of motor competence is important in many aspects of self-perceptions, affecting girls and boys differently. Higher motor competence has a protective effect on psychosocial health, particularly for girls.

Keywords

adolescence, male, female, McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development (MAND)

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