Common Dimensions in the Assessment of Competence in School-Aged Girls

J. S. Tanaka, Michael A. Westerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this research we investigate the competence construct, its structure, and the interrelations among assessments of children's competence provided by different observers. These questions were investigated in a sample of 76 girls 8 to 11 years of age. The results of bivariate correlations showed that there were statistically significant relations of moderate size between subscales of the self-rated Perceived Competence Scale for Children (PCSC; Harter, 1982) and the maternal-rated Social Competence measure of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBC; Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1981, 1983). Two dimensions emerged from an interbattery factor analysis. The dimensions assessed interpersonal competencies and competencies in the academic-cognitive domains. Physical-athletic competencies were not found to define important dimensions for this sample of girls. We discuss suggestions about a differentiated consideration of competence and possible gender differences in the assessment of competence, along with two alternative models suggested by this work for studying the stress-buffering role played by competence measured from several perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-584
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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