Who Determines What’s Important? Perceptions of Competence and Importance as Predictors of Self-Esteem in Youth Football Players

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The present study examined perceived competence, individual importance (what is important to the individual), and group importance (what is perceived to be important to the group) as determinants of self-esteem. The sample consisted of 100 male football players ranging in age from 11 to 14 years. A questionnaire containing items that assessed the central constructs was administered to the players during a team practice near the end of a 7-week competitive season. Self-esteem was the dependent variable, with perceived competence, individual importance, and group importance entered as the set of predictor variables in a non-stepwise multiple regression analysis. Results revealed that the set of predictor variables accounted for 47% of the variance in self-esteem. Both perceived competence and individual importance contributed significantly to explaining self-esteem, although perceived competence was the strongest predictor. The findings of this study are discussed in terms of how the values of significant others might influence the development of self-esteem.

Vicki Ebbeck and Moira E. Stuart are with the Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science, Langton Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.

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