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

Alida Lo Coco, Carla Zappulla, Dan Li, Ana Maria De Oliveira, Yunfeng He, Dan Li, Violet Kaspar, Amanda Desouza, Natasha Bergeron, Hennis Chi-Hang Tse, Barry Schneider, Boschu Li, Xinyin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the present study was to examine relations between self-perceptions of competenceand social, behavioural, and school adjustment in Brazilian, Canadian, Chinese, and Italian children. Self-perception data were collected through children’s self-reports. Information about social behaviours, 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 Chinesechildren, 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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