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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to gain a better understanding of students' perceived science competence by examining potentially related beliefs and perceptions in a diverse sample of middle and secondary students (N = 1289). Results of hierarchical regression analysis showed that students' perceived science competence was related to: (a) students' age, gender, and ethnicity; (b) students' mastery and performance–approach goals; (c) students' self-perceptions of their ability to generate creative ideas (i.e., creative self-efficacy); and (d) students' perceptions of teacher support and press (i.e., challenging academic demands). Of all these factors, creative self-efficacy was found to have the strongest positive relationship with students' perceived science competence. Implications for subsequent research are discussed. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 800–814, 2007