Exercise and Self-Esteem: Validity of Model Expansion and Exercise Associations

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Rhode Island
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The purpose of this research was to test expansion of the Exercise and Self-Esteem Model (EXSEM) to include two levels of perceived physical competence as operationalized by the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP). Female aerobic dancers (N = 216, age M = 38.4) were administered a Self-Esteem scale (SE), the PSPP to assess a general Physical Self-Worth (PSW), and more specific subdomains of perceived Sport Competence (Sport), Physical Condition (Cond), Attractive Body (Body), and Strength (Stren). Subjects also completed self-efficacy scales for jogging, sitting, and aerobic dancing. Confirmatory factor analysis supported model measurement as hypothesized, %2 = 1,154.88, df = 681, comparative fit index (CFI) = .913, root mean square residual (RMSR) = .047. Structural equation modeling (SEM) supported EXSEM component relationships as proposed. Further SEM associating two exercise self-reports with EXSEM again displayed satisfactory fit indices and explained up to 27.6% of exercise variance. It was concluded that exercise in adult female aerobic dancers is associated with positive evaluations of their physical condition and with negative evaluations of their bodies.

Robert J. Sonstroem is with the Department of Physical Education, and Lisa L. Harlow is with the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881. Lynn Josephs is with the Heathsouth Rehabilitation Center, 2919 Arlington Dr., Alexandria, VA 22306.

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