This study investigates how self-esteem moderates decision-making processes for initiating physical activity in a consumption situation. Kang (2002) developed a structural model that integrates self-participant image congruency (SIC), attitudes, and intentions. This model was used to examine the moderating effects of self-esteem on individual decisions regarding consumption for physical activity. College students (N = 215) completed a questionnaire that included measures of SIC, attitudes, and intentions for joining a private health club, as well as a self-esteem scale (Heatherton & Polivy, 1991). Multiple group analyses using LISREL 8 were conducted between relatively high and low self-esteem participants for physical, performance, and social self-esteem dimensions. The results indicated that the direct influence of SIC on intentions is stronger for participants with high physical self-esteem than for those with low physical self-esteem, whereas the direct impact of attitudes on intentions is greater for low- than for high physical self-esteem participants. Performance self-esteem and social self-esteem, however, did not moderate decision-making processes. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
The author is with Seoul National University, Dept. of Physical Education, Shilim-dong, Kwanak-ku, Seoul, South Korea.