Temporal relations among multidimensional perceptions of competence and trichotomous achievement goals in physical education

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Objectives:The purpose of the present study was two-fold: (1) To empirically establish whether young people differentiate their perceived competence in physical education (PE) in terms of the self, mastery of tasks, and others, and (2) To examine longitudinal relations between these three ways of defining perceived competence and trichotomous achievement goals.Methods:At the start of the study, students (n = 227 males, n = 205 females; M age = 13.18, SD = .87 years) completed measures of mastery-approach, performance-approach- and performance-avoidance goals, along with other-, self- and mastery-referent forms of perceived competence. The same measures were subsequently recorded three, six and nine months later.Results:Analyses supported longitudinal factorial invariance for each goal and each type of perceived competence. Partial support was found for the positive influence of other-referent perceived competence on approach- and avoidance-performance goal adoption over time.Conclusion:Young people can construe their competence in PE in various ways. Relative to one’s classmates, increases in other-referenced perceptions of competence can subsequently lead to increased adoption of both performance goals.

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