The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the differential effects of a competitive and a cooperative fitness program for high school girls on physical fitness and on multidimensional self-concepts. Consistent with the content specificity of self-concept, physical fitness was significantly correlated with self-concept of physical ability (r=.45) but not with any of the other 10 self-concept scales (all r<.ll). Both the competitive and cooperative programs significantly enhanced physical fitness compared to a randomly assigned control group; but the cooperative program also enhanced physical ability self-concept and, to a lesser extent, physical appearance self-concept whereas the competitive program lowered them. The intervention had no significant effects on the other self-concept scales. The results of the study demonstrate the benefits of cooperatively oriented physical fitness programs for girls and the content specificity of multiple dimensions of self-concept.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Herbert W. Marsh, Faculty of Education, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.