Abstract

Beliefs about control have been identified as an important aspect of the occupational therapy evaluation process because of their potential influence over the course of action chosen. This paper reviews the current status of research and theory in this area as it relates to children. Issues addressed include the drawbacks of the downward extension of adult theoretical models and tests to children, the multidimensionality of perceived control, and the relation between cognitive development and changes in beliefs. Recent revisions in theoretical models and new measures that provide more differentiated information on children’s beliefs about causality and personal efficacy are reviewed. The implications for the selection of instruments and interpretation of results for the assessment of children’s perceived control in clinical practice are discussed.

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