This study represents a developmentally informed, empirically validated examination of competence across multiple domains (Social, Cognitive, Emotional well-being), gender and age (early childhood, middle childhood, early adolescence, middle adolescence). Competence indicators were created and the structure of these domains was tested using multi-method, multi-informant data collected on 191 participants drawn from a prospective study of at-risk children. The results indicated that inter-individual differences in Cognitive and Social competence were stable across time, whereas inter-individual differences in Emotional well-being were stable only between early and middle adolescence. While the strength of stability of Cognitive competence was similar across different time points, the stability of Social competence declined after middle childhood, suggesting more inter-individual variability with regard to change. The findings also indicated that both the structure and the stability of competence are similar for boys and girls.
- Positive adaptation