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Dale A. Ulrich and Douglas H. Collier

Self-perceptions of competence are thought to mediate a person’s motivation to participate and persist in tasks under optimally challenging conditions. Little systematic research has been conducted related to the self-perceptions of physical competence in children with mental retardation and the influence on achievement motivation in this domain. Various models of self-concept are reviewed, followed by a discussion of self-concept and special populations. Preliminary data are presented on a modified pictorial scale of perceived physical competence for use with 7- to 12-year-old students with mild mental retardation. Future research directions are proposed related to achievement motivation, perceived competence, and mental retardation.

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Jacob A. Jones

Self-concept theory was used as a theoretical basis to investigate the utility of social norms alcohol prevention programs for college athletes. The predictive relationship among alcohol use and athletic identity, competitiveness, drinking game participation, and level of sport participation was investigated. Drinking game participation was found to be a significant predictor of total weekly alcohol use above and beyond the other predictors. In addition, organized recreational sport participation was a significant predictor of total binge-drinking episodes. It was demonstrated that individuals not currently participating in sports with an athletic identity in the same range as current athletes consumed alcohol at similar rates to current athletes, thus supporting athletic identity as an alternative way of classifying athlete status when studying alcohol consumption patterns. These results highlight the importance of drinking game participation in the alcohol use of college athletes and the validity of applying self-concept theory to alcohol prevention programs.

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Joon-Ho Hang

This study develops a decision-making process model for participant sport consumption that integrates self-participant image congruency (SIC), attitude, and intentions. SIC is the degree of congruency between one's self-concept and her/his participant's stereotypical image in a given context of sport or exercise involvement. Attitudes toward participation refer to an overall utilitarian evaluation of the behavior whereas intentions reflect decisions (Fishbein, 1980). A structural model is developed that incorporates SIC (as image-based evaluations) and attitudes (as utilitarian evaluations) as antecedents of intentions (as decisions) using LISREL8. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that (a) both SIC and attitudes influence one's decision to initiate sport or exercise participation in the consumption context but attitudes have greater impact than SIC, and (b) both actual and ideal self-concepts are relevant in image-based decision-making processes.

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Joan E. Hunter Smart, Sean P. Cumming, Lauren B. Sherar, Martyn Standage, Helen Neville and Robert M. Malina

Background:

This study tested a mediated effects model of psychological and behavioral adaptation to puberty within the context of physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Biological maturity status, physical self-concept, PA, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were assessed in 222 female British year 7 to 9 pupils (mean age = 12.7 years, SD = .8).

Results:

Structural equation modeling using maximum likelihood estimation and bootstrapping procedures supported the hypothesized model. Maturation status was inversely related to perceptions of sport competence, body attractiveness, and physical condition; and indirectly and inversely related to physical self-worth, PA, and HRQoL. Examination of the bootstrap-generated bias-corrected confidence intervals representing the direct and indirect paths between suggested that physical self-concept partially mediated the relations between maturity status and PA, and maturity status and HRQoL.

Conclusions:

Evidence supports the contention that perceptions of the physical self partially mediate relations maturity, PA, and HRQoL in adolescent females.

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Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray and Natalie Pearson

The purpose of the study was to explore change in children’s physical self-concept and self-reported physical activity over a school transition period, as well as motivational and interpersonal influences on these two outcomes. Data were collected from 545 children (mean age = 10.82, SD = 0.39, 51% female) at three time points before and after the United Kingdom secondary school transition. Multilevel modeling revealed that physical self-concept and physical activity showed different patterns of decline over the course of the study. Changes in the extent to which physical education teachers were perceived to provide psychological need support, peer focus on self-referenced learning and mastery, and changes in autonomous motives toward physical education classes were positively associated with these outcome variables. The present study provides novel insight into important motivational and interpersonal factors that may need to be targeted to prevent negative developmental patterns over a potentially challenging period for children.

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Gretchen Kerr and Harold Minden

This study reports data regarding gymnastic injuries. Examined were the number, severity, and location of injuries, events associated with injury occurrence, relationship in time between occurrence and competition, and the perceptions of causes. In addition, this study investigated the relationships between the psychological factors of trait anxiety, locus of control, self-concept and stressful life events, and the occurrence of athletic injuries. The subjects were 41 elite female gymnasts and five national level coaches. There was a high rate of injury (83 %), primarily to the ankle region, with most injuries occurring during the floor exercise. The timing of injuries was related to the approach of competition. The data indicated that stressful life events were significantly related to both the number and severity of injuries. Significant relationships were not found between trait anxiety, locus of control, self-concept, and the injury measures.

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Herbert W. Marsh

The effects of participation in sport during the last 2 years of high school were examined by use of the nationally (United States) representative High School and Beyond data collected between 1980 and 1984. After background variables and outcomes collected during the sophomore year of high school were controlled for, sport participation positively affected 14 of 22 senior and postsecondary outcomes (e.g., social and academic self-concept, educational aspirations, course work selection, homework, reduced absenteeism, and subsequent college attendance) and had no negative effects on the remaining 8 variables. These positive effects were robust, generalizing across individual characteristics (race, socioeconomic status, sex, and ability level), school size, and school climates (academic, social, and sport). The positive effects of sport participation were mediated by academic self-concept and educational aspirations, supporting the proposal that sport participation enhances identification with the school.

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Andrew J. Martin, David V. Tipler, Herbert W. Marsh, Garry E. Richards and Melinda R. Williams

This study presents a new, multidimensional approach to physical activity motivation that is operationalized through four primary factors: adaptive cognitive dimensions, adaptive behavioral dimensions, impeding cognitive dimensions, and maladaptive behavioral dimensions. Among 171 Australian high school students, the study assessed the structure of this four-factor framework (a within-network construct validity approach) and also examined the relationships between motivation and three key correlates: flow in physical activity, physical self-concept, and physical activity level (a between-network construct validity approach). The four-factor framework demonstrated within-network validity in the form of reliable subscales and a sound factor structure. In terms of between-network validity, relationships between the adaptive behavioral and cognitive aspects of motivation and physical self-concept, flow, and activity levels were found to be positive and significant, whereas significant inverse relationships were found between impeding and maladaptive motivation dimensions and flow and physical self-concept. Additional analysis utilizing multiple-indicator multiple-cause (MIMIC) modeling showed that during earlier adolescence girls are more motivated than boys to engage in physical activity, but by later adolescence boys are more motivated to do so. Results are interpreted in terms of future directions for possible physical activity interventions aimed at increasing both the uptake and continuation of activity.

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Peggy M. Roswal, Claudine Sherrill and Glenn M. Roswal

This study compared the effectiveness of data based and creative dance pedagogies in relation to motor skill performance and self-concept of mentally retarded students. Subjects (N=35) were moderately mentally retarded males and females, ages 11 to 16 years, in special education classes. Their mean age was 12.88 years in the data based group and 13.47 years in the creative dance group. Excluding testing, the study lasted 8 weeks. Each group received 40 lessons of 30 minutes each. Data based pedagogy was based on the work of Dunn, Morehouse, and Dalke (1979), and creative dance pedagogy was based primarily on the work of Riordan (Fitt & Riordan, 1980). Pretest and posttest data were collected through administration of the Data Based Dance Skills Placement Test, selected subtests of the Cratty Six-Category Gross Motor Test, and the Martinek-Zaichkowsky Self-Concept Scale. Multivariate analysis of covariance revealed no difference between pedagogies. The group means indicated improvement in dance skill performance but not in self-concept or body perception, balance, and gross and locomotor agility.

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Olivier Rey, Jean-Marc Vallier, Caroline Nicol, Charles-Symphorien Mercier and Christophe Maïano

Purpose:

This study examined the effects of a five-week intervention combining vigorous interval training (VIT) with diet among twenty-four obese adolescents. Fourteen girls and ten boys (aged 14–15) schooled in a pediatric rehabilitation center participated.

Methods:

The VIT intensity was targeted and remained above 80% of maximal heart rate (HR) and over six kilocalories per minute. Pre- and postintervention measures were body composition (BMI, weight, body fat percentage), physical self-perceptions (PSP), physical fitness (6-min walking distance and work) and its associated physiological responses (HRpeak and blood lactate concentration). A series of two-way analyses of variance or covariance controlling for weight loss were used to examine the changes.

Results:

Significant improvements were found in body composition, physical fitness and PSP (endurance, activity level, sport competence, global physical self-concept and appearance). In addition, boys presented higher levels of perceived strength and global physical self-concept than girls. Finally, there was a significant increase in perceived endurance, sport competence, and global physical self-concept in girls only.

Conclusion:

This five-week VIT program combined with diet represents an effective means for improving body composition, physical fitness, and PSP in obese adolescents, the effects on PSP being larger among girls.