In this study, the relationship between physical activity (PA) and 3 self-concept constructs (physical abilities, physical appearance, and general self-concept) was examined. Youth with type 1 diabetes (n = 304), type 2 diabetes (n = 49), and nondiabetic controls (n = 127) aged 10−20 years wore pedometers over 7 days. Youth completed the Self-Description Questionnaire and correlation coefficients were calculated. Mean steps/day were 7413 ± 3415, 4959 ± 3474 and 6870 ± 3521 for type 1, type 2 and control youth, respectively. Significant correlations were found between steps/day and perception of physical abilities (r = .29; r = .31; r = .31) for type 1, type 2, and control youth, respectively. The other correlations were not significant. Among youth with type 2 diabetes, steps/day were significantly correlated with physical appearance (r = .46). The positive correlation between PA and physical abilities suggests a reciprocal relationship between behavior and perception.
O’Neill is with the Dept. of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Liese, McKeown, and Cai are with the Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Cuffe is with the Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL. Mayer-Davis is with the Dept. of Nutrition and Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. Hamman and Dabelea are with the Dept. of Epidemiology, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO.