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    Self-Concept Defined

• The way in which we see or define
• “Who I am.”
         Self-Concept Model
• One’s general (overall) self-concept is an
  aggregate construct determined by
  judgments of self-concept in a number of
• General self-concept consists of two primary
  – Academic self-concept (primary learning
  – Nonacademic self-concept
           Diagram of the Self-Concept Model

Source: Shavelson, Hubner, & Stanton (1976).
    Nonacademic Self-Concept
• Physical self-concept
  – Individual’s judgments of both general physical
    abilities and physical appearance
• Social self-concept
  – Enhanced by positive interaction with others
• Emotional self-concept
  – Cognitive or emotional states
              More on the
          Self-Concept Model
• The base level of the hierarchy is defined by
  one’s behavior in specific situations
• Judgments of physical ability are based on
  our perceptions of successful and
  unsuccessful performance in a number of
  activities engaged in over a period of time
        Self-Esteem Defined

• The evaluative or affective consequence of
  one’s self-concept
• The extent to which one feels positive or
  negative about one’s self-concept
• “How I feel about who I am.”
• Synonymous with “self-worth”
        Importance of Self-Esteem

• Happiness
  – Self-esteem topped the list of needs that bring
    happiness to people
• Motivator for physical activity?
  – Promoting the self-esteem–enhancing properties
    of physical activity is a good strategy for
    improving activity levels.
                   Diagram of the Exercise and
                       Self-Esteem Model

Source: Sonstroem & Morgan (1989).
           Physical Self-Esteem
The body appearance, attributes, and abilities
  provides substantive interface between the
  individual and the outside world.
  – Major vehicle for social communication
  – Used to express status and sexuality
  – Physical self strongly correlated to across one’s
    lifespan to global self-esteem
      More on the Exercise and
        Self-Esteem Model
• Also relevant to self-esteem:
  – Physical acceptance: The extent to which an
    individual accepts who he/she is physically
  – Subjective perception of success: Although
    objective indicators of improved fitness may
    not be present, self-concept/self-esteem might
    improve if one feels that physical competence
    has improved
          Measuring Physical Self Esteem/
  Profile (PSPP)

 Physical Self-
          Measuring Physical Self Esteem/
        Physical       – Valid and reliable across a variety of
Self-Perception          measures
  Profile (PSPP)       – Substantial amount of reading with
                         complex response format, making it less
                       – Shorter

                      A comprehensive assessment of physical
 Physical Self-        self-concept
  Description         Global measures of both physical self-
Questionnaire          concept and self-esteem
       (PSDQ)         Single-statement items
                      Longer
                 Sample Items from the Physical
                    Self-Perception Profile

Source: Fox and Corbin (1989).
               of Self-Esteem

• Promoting the self-esteem–enhancing
  properties of physical activity might be a
  viable strategy for improving activity levels in
  those individuals who view self-esteem as a
  primary psychological need.
  Mechanisms of Change

• Mastery/self-efficacy theory
• Body image/body esteem
• Self-schemata
• Self-determination
Based on the degree to which a person feels he
  or she has mastered necessary skills, he/she
  will report improvements in physical self-
    Body Image/Body Esteem

One’s perception of one’s body elicits either
 pleasing/satisfying or
 displeasing/dissatisfying feelings.
Diagram of Possible Linkage Between Body Image
                and Self-Esteem
               Following Exercise
    Self-Schemata—Three Categories of
         Exercise-Specific Identities

• Exerciser schematics
  – Describe themselves as exercisers and rate this
    self-identification as crucial to self-image
• Nonexerciser schematics
  – Describe themselves as nonexercisers who
    consider this (deficient) descriptor to be a
    significant influence on self-image
• Aschematics
  – Describe themselves as nonexercisers but don’t
    consider this perception to be important to self-
Diagram of Possible Linkage Between Exercise
          Schema and Self-Esteem
         Following Chronic Exercise
• An individual’s drive to autonomously and
  successfully perform behaviors important to
• Vast potential to influence self-esteem
• Completion of an event/goal could lead to
  enhanced feelings of self-determination
  because of considerable internal capabilities:
   – Self-motivation
   – Discipline
   – Effort
Diagram of Possible Linkage Between Exercise
          Schema and Self-Esteem
         Following Chronic Exercise
• Special population including older adults and mental
• Mentally and physically healthy youth and adolescents
• Children with learning disabilities
• Adults with cancer
• Clinically depressed
• Alcoholics
• Injured athletes
• Obese
                 Selective Research
• Obese male teenagers a 3 week PA program resulted in significant
  improvement in body weight, cardiovascular fitness, and attitude toward
  body and self acceptance (Collingwood & Willett, 1971)
• African American girls with high levels of self-esteem significantly
  attended more PA sessions per year (Lemmon et al., 2007)
• Researchers involving 320 Chinese children found that their perception of
  appearance and strength impacted their overall self-concept (Lau, Cheung,
  & Ransdell, 2008)

In short:
• 78% of research studies support positive association between exercise and
    self-esteem (Fox, 2000)
Physical Activity and Self-esteem

           Gruber, 1986; Hodges & McDonald, 1991, Fox, 2000
     Self-Esteem and Exercise

- Largest benefit is associated with weight training
  and aerobic activities (Fox, 2000)
-Exercise programs should last for at least 12 weeks
  or more (Fox 2000)
-Does-response relationship of exercise and self-
  esteem have not been found about exercise
  frequency, intensity, and duration.
-There is a trend in the data by Spence el al, 2005
  that indicates more frequent participation leads to
  increase in self-esteem.
      Practical Recommendations
• Certain steps can be taken to ensure that the
  activity engaged in will lead to improvements
  in self-concept/self-esteem:
   – Determine why individual is interested in exercise
     regime; determine what his/her goals are
   – Conduct baseline health and fitness assessments, to
     provide feedback about progress
   – Ensure that exerciser feels a sense of
     accomplishment and personal control regarding
     exercise routine
   – Focus on effort and personal improvement
• Exercise generally exerts a positive influence on self-
  concept/self esteem.
   – Researcher has yet to document a negative effect
     of exercise on self-concept/self-esteem
• Greatest improvement in self-concept/self-esteem
  are likely to occur in those populations that have the
  most to gain from exercise participation.
• Influence of exercise on global self-esteem may fall
  from small to moderate effect size (Spence &
  Colleagues, 2005)

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