The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument that would permit the application of recent advances in self-esteem theory to the study of self-perception in the physical domain. Open-ended questionnaire responses were used to identify important contributors to the physical self-esteem of a college age population. Based on these data, four subdomain subscales designed to assess perceived bodily attractiveness, sports competence, physical strength, and physical conditioning were constructed along with a general physical self-worth subscale as the basis of the Physical Self-Perception Profile. The sensitivity, reliability, and stability of the subscales were supported for both genders across three independent samples. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis indicated the discriminant validity of the subdomain subscales, supporting the concept of multidimensionality within the physical domain. Zero-order correlation, partial correlation, and multiple regression analyses provided results consistent with a three-tier hierarchical structure among self-perception elements. In addition, initial predictive validity of the subdomain subscales was evidenced through their association with degree and type of involvement in physical activity.
Kenneth R. Fox, formerly with Northern Illinois University, is with the Physical Education Association Research Centre at the School of Education, University of Exeter, St. Luke's, Heavitree Road, Exeter EX1 2LU, England. Charles B. Corbin is with the Department of HPE at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287.