Self-perceptions of competence in Brazilian, Canadian, Chinese and Italian children : Relations with social and school adjustment

Chen et al, 2004, International Journal of Behavioral Development.

University of Western Ontario,London,Canada. University of Palermo, Sicily. University of Ottawa, Canada. University of Toronto, Canada. Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Shanghai Teachers’ University, China.

The purpose of this study was to examine relations between self-perceptions of competence and social, behavioral, and school adjustment in Brazilian, Canadian, Chinese, and Italian children. Self-perception data were collected through children’s self-reports. Information about social behaviors, peer acceptance, and school achievement was obtained from peer assessments and teacher ratings. Multi-group analyses revealed similar patterns of relations between self-perceptions in scholastic and general self-worth domains and social and school performance in the four samples. However, the relations between self-perceptions of social competence and shyness and academic achievement were different across these samples. Self-perceptions of social competence was negatively associated with shyness in Brazilian, Canadian, and Italian children, but not in the Chinese children, and positively associated with academic achievement in Canadian and Chinese children, but not in Brazilian and Italian Children. Similarities and differences in the patterns of relations between self-perceptions and social and school adjustment across cultures indicate that the self system may be a culture-general as well as culture-specific phenomenon.

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