Competence is defined like the „global or specific subjective perception (feeling,
expectation, belief) of one person about one's ability to realize apparent behaviours and
show results which are expected“ (Bezinović, 1988, pg 53).
In this study, we examined whether school achievement and giftedness are contributing to
the self-perception of personal competence of elementary school children. We used matched
participants sampling of gifted and average students with control variables of gender, age,
academic achievement, observed motivation for school achievement, observed socioeconomic
status. N=62 elementary school students. Instruments used were Socio-
Demographic Questionnaire and Self-Perception Profile for Children by Susan Harter.
Results imply that all participants percieve themselves as the most competent in Behavioral
Competence (M=20.32), than School Competence (M=20.26), Global Self-Worth (M=19.26),
Social Competence (M=18.03), Physical Competence (M=17.45) and at least in Athletic
Subscales of self-perception are positively intercorrelated, which means that students with
higher perception in one aspect have high self-perception in other aspects as well, or that
different aspects of self-perception belong to one general one (rho from 0.354 to 0.767).
When it comes to the differences between gifted and average children we found significant
differences in subscale of School Competence (Mann-Whitney U = 340.500, sig= 0.047)
where gifted children percieve themselves as more competent than non-gifted students.
When gender differences are observed as independent variable, there are statistically
significant differences on the Social Competence scale, (Mann-Whitney U =52.500
sig=0.007), and Physical Appearance Scale (Mann-Whitney U =66.000, sig=0.036. where
gifted boys percieve themselves as more competent than gifted girls.