The Importance of Being Important: Theoretical Models of Relations between Specific and Global Components of Physical Self-Concept

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Western Sydney, Macarthur
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Theoretical models of relations between specific components of physical self-concept, global physical self-concept, and global esteem are evaluated. Self-concept models posit that the effect of a specific domain (e.g., strength, endurance, or appearance) on global components should vary with the importance an individual places on the specific domain, but empirical support for this prediction is weak. Fox (1990) incorporated a related assumption into his hierarchical model of physical self-concept, but did not test this assumption. In empirical tests based on responses to the newly developed Physical Self-Description Questionnaire, relations between specific and global components of physical self-concept did not vary with the perceived importance of the specific component, and unweighted averages of specific components were as highly related to global components as importance weighted averages. These results provide no support for the importance of importance in modifying relations between domain-specific and general components of self-concept.

Herbert W. Marsh is with the University of Western Sydney, Macarthur, PO Box 555, Campbelltown, NSW 2560, Australia.

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