Theoretically grounded in the work of Harter (1978, 1981) and Ames (1992a), three research questions were addressed in the present study: (a) Do sources of competence information vary by skill level? (b) Do perceptions of the motivational climate vary by skill level? and (c) Are sources of competence information and perceived motivational climate related? Adolescent female gymnasts (N = 103, ages 12-14 years) competing at Skill Levels 5 to 10 completed measures regarding sources of competence information and perceived motivational climate. Results revealed that: (a) gymnasts competing at lower levels (5-6, 7) used sources of effort and enjoyment more than did gymnasts competing at higher levels (8, 9, and 10), who used feelings of nervousness and spectator feedback more frequently; (b) no significant differences emerged in perceptions of the motivational climate among gymnasts competing at various skill levels; and (c) a significant relationship emerged between use of sources of competence information and perceived motivational climate. In general, perceptions of a mastery climate were associated with the use of self-referenced sources of information, whereas perceptions of a performance climate were associated with the use of peer comparison and competition performance sources of information.
- Perceived competence