Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Elizabeth Rose

Second Advisor

Dr Andrew Guilfoyle


To date there has been limited research addressing the psychosocial consequences of poor coordination in Australian adolescent boys. The implications of failing to meet the expected physical standards of their peers, teachers and parents, can result in low self-esteem and subsequent withdrawal from participation (Lintunen, 1995). According to Harter's (1981) Theory of Competence Motivation, low motor competence is likely to lead to low self-perceptions in the athletic domain. Research with children (Rose, Larkin & Berger, 1997) has demonstrated that poor coordination is more pervasive, influencing many aspects of children's self-esteem. However limited research has addressed the pervasiveness of poor motor competence on self-perceptions in adolescents. This study tested whether a) perceived competence and global self-worth, h) perceived importance of athletic competence and c) level of physical activity varied with levels of motor coordination in a sample of adolescent boys aged 13-15 years (N = 72). All participants completed Hunter's (1988) Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents (SPPA), the accompanying Importance Rating Scale, and the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A) (Kowalski, Crocker & Kowalski, 1997) and were divided into low (n = 15), moderate (n = 43) and well-coordinated (n= 14) groups based on their scores for the McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development (MAND) (McCarron, 1982). The results of the one way between group ANOV As showed that the poorly coordinated group had lower perceptions of athletic competence [F (2, 69) = 7. 77, p < .01] and romantic appeal [F (2, 69) = 6.55, p < .01] than their more well coordinated peers. The low coordination group also placed less importance on athletic competence [F (2, 69) = 3.86, p < .01] and lower levels of physical activity [F (2,69) = 5.92, p < .01] than their same aged peers. These findings with adolescents support the predictions of Harter's theory. Considering the importance of athletic competence for the engagement of physical activity (Lintunen, 1995), there are clear implications for addressing the needs of adolescent boys who are disadvantaged by poor coordination.