Helping Middle School Females Form a Sense of Self through Team Sports and Exercise

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Ruth Ference Berry College

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K. Denise Muth School of Teacher Education, University of Georgia

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The purpose of the study was to investigate how involvement in exercise and participation in team sports were related to the multidimension self-perceptions of middle school females. The study was conducted in 2 middle schools with 181 8th-grade females. Instruments used were the Physical Activity Survey and Harter’s Self-Perception Profile for Children. Results show that participation in team sports was related to four domains of self-perception: social acceptance, athletic competence, scholastic competence, and global self-worth. Informal exercise was related to social acceptance and global self-worth of middle school females. Therefore, it appears that both team sports and exercise may be important in enhancing self-concept in middle school females. Results also show that over half of middle school females in this study participated in three or more team sports during middle school. However, almost half of these students report exercising informally less than three times a week. These results support the increased opportunities of team sports for middle school females.

Dr. Ruth Ference Berry College Box 5019 Mt. Berry, GA 30149 Email: Rference@berry.edu Fax: (706) 238-7857

Dr. K. Denise Muth Director, School of Teacher Education University of Georgia Aderhold Hall Athens, GA 30602 Email: Dglynn@coe.uga.edu Fax: (706) 542-4042

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