The self-perception of competence by Canadian and Chinese children

Ching David KWOK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This study investigated cultural differences in self-perception of competence between Canadian and Chinese children. The Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC) (Harter, 1985) was administered to 125 fourth-grade Canadian children who were randomly selected from schools in a large urban school district. The Chinese version of the SPPC was given to a comparative sample of 128 Chinese children in Hong Kong. Similar across the two samples was a significant correlation between perceived scholastic competence and performance in a test of math achievement. Interesting cross-cultural differences were also found. Chinese children downgraded their competence in different domains as compared with Canadian children. While the factor pattern of the SPPC for the Canadian sample closely resembled that for Harter's American sample, a different factor pattern of the scale was found for the Chinese sample. Discussion of the results focuses on possible differences in interpretation of meanings of statements on competence perception between children of the two cultural groups. Copyright © 1995 Psychologia Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


Kwok, D. C. (1995). The self-perception of competence by Canadian and Chinese children. Psychologia, 38(1), 9-16.


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