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Herbert W. Marsh, Michael Bar-Eli, Sima Zach and Garry E. Richards

This study extends support for the construct validity of the three strongest physical self-concept measures for 395 Israeli university students (60% women) aged 18 to 54, demonstrating a new extension of the multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) design that incorporates external validity criteria and a test of jingle-jangle fallacies. Structural equation models of this MTMM data confirmed the a priori 23-factor structure of the three instruments, and the convergent and discriminant validity of factors from each instrument in relation to those from the other instruments. There were few age effects, whereas gender differences were smaller than expected and stable over age. In support of the known-group-difference approach, physical education majors had systematically higher physical self-concepts than management majors. Relations of body image to self-concept factors supported the convergent and discriminant validity of the physical self-concept factors and the separation of body fat from physical appearance self-concepts, but having a more obese body was not significantly related to health self-concept or global self-esteem factors.

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Herbert W. Marsh and Robert J. Sonstroem

Fox (1990) proposed a personalized hierarchical model of physical self-concept that integrated self-concept and perceived importance ratings, and he developed instruments to measure these constructs. Alternative approaches based on his instruments are evaluated with data from Sonstroem, Harlow, and Josephs’ (1994) study of 216 adult female aerobic dancers and their exercise activity. Consistent with previous research, there was little support for importance weighted-average or importance discrepancy models in the prediciton of self-esteem, general physical self-concept, or exercise behavior. However, condition self-concept was more positively related to exercise than other components of physical self-concept, and importance ratings of specific components of physical self-concept were positively related to exercise. These results support the construct validity of multidimensional physical self-concept responses, the value of specific domains of self-concept most relevant to a particular application rather than global measures of self, and the usefulness of importance ratings for predicting exercise activity.

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Maike Tietjens, Dennis Dreiskaemper, Till Utesch, Nadja Schott, Lisa M. Barnett and Trina Hinkley

literature. From this hierarchical perspective, self-concept is characterized as multidimensional and consists of academic and non-academic domains, with the latter also including the physical self. The domain of physical self-concept itself is also seen as hierarchical, as it includes self

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Herbert W. Marsh, Alexandre J.S. Morin and Philip D. Parker

Elite athletes and nonathletes (N = 1,268) attending the same selective sport high school (4 high school age cohorts, grades 7–10, mean ages varying from 10.9 to 14.1) completed the same physical self-concept instrument 4 times over a 2-year period (multiple waves). We introduce a latent cohort-sequence analysis that provides a stronger basis for assessing developmental stability/change than either cross-sectional (multicohort, single occasion) or longitudinal (single-cohort, multiple occasion) designs, allowing us to evaluate latent means across 10 waves spanning a 5-year period (grades 7–11), although each participant contributed data for only 4 waves, spanning 2 of the 5 years. Consistent with the frame-of-reference effects embodied in the big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE), physical self-concepts at the start of high school were much higher for elite athletes than for nonathlete classmates, but the differences declined over time so that by the end of high school there were no differences in the 2 groups. Gender differences in favor of males had a negative linear and quadratic trajectory over time, but the consistently smaller gender differences for athletes than for nonathletes did not vary with time.

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Deborah R. Shapiro and Jeffrey J. Martin

The purposes of this investigation were first to predict reported PA (physical activity) behavior and self-esteem using a multidimensional physical self-concept model and second to describe perceptions of multidimensional physical self-concept (e.g., strength, endurance, sport competence) among athletes with physical disabilities. Athletes (N = 36, M age = 16.11, SD age = 2.8) completed the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire. Participants reported mostly positive perceptions of self-esteem, global physical self-concept, endurance, body fat, sport competence, strength, flexibility, and physical activity (Ms ranging from 3.9 to 5.6 out of 6). Correlations indicated a number of significant relationships among self-esteem and reported PA and various dimensions of physical self-concept. Using physical self-concept, strength, endurance, and flexibility in the first regression equation and sport competence and endurance simultaneously in the second equation, 47 and 31% of the variance was accounted for in self-esteem and reported PA, respectively. The findings support the value of examining multidimensional physical self-concept as different aspects of the physical self appear to have different influences on reported PA engagement versus self-esteem.

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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Margaret Schneider, Dan J. Graham and Dan M. Cooper

Cross-sectional research examined whether physical activity or physical fitness was more closely linked to physical self-concept in adolescent females ages 14 to 17 (N = 103, 63% Caucasian). Moderate physical activity and vigorous physical activity were measured through a 3-day physical activity recall. Physical fitness was assessed using highly accurate measures of peak oxygen consumption (via cycle ergometer) and percent body fat (via dual X-ray absorptiometer). The Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) assessed self-concept in 11 domains (e.g., health, endurance, appearance). Pearson’s correlations showed that vigorous physical activity was positively associated with scores on most of the PSDQ scales (p < .005). Peak oxygen consumption was positively related to all of the selfconcept domains (p < .001), and percent body fat was negatively related on most of the PSDQ scales (p < .005). Multiple-regression analyses found that physical fitness (i.e., peak oxygen consumption and percent body fat) was more closely related to physical self-concept than was physical activity. In addition to the possibility that genetically determined fitness levels may influence physical selfconcept, these findings suggest that programs designed to elevate self-perceptions may require physical activity levels sufficient to improve cardiovascular fitness and decrease body fat.

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Herbert W. Marsh, F. Hulya Asci and Ines Marco Tomas

The present investigation demonstrated cross-cultural support for convergent and discriminant validity of the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) in a multitrait-multimethod analysis of relations with responses to the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP). The sample, 1,041 Turkish university students in elective physical education courses from 10 Turkish universities, provided a test of the cross-cultural generalizability of responses to these two widely used English language instruments. In support of construct validity interpretations, matching PSDQ and PSPP factors were highly correlated. However, support for the PSPP was undermined by extremely high correlations among several of its factors, due in part to a substantial method effect associated with its idiosyncratic response scale. Results based on this study with Turkish university students largely replicate and extend the findings of Marsh et al. (1994) with Australian high school students. Based on psychometric, theoretical, cross-cultural, and practical considerations, the results support the use of the PSDQ in a wide variety of research and applied settings.

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Theresa C. Brown and Mary D. Fry

This study examined the relationship between college students’ perceptions of the motivational climate (i.e., caring, task- and ego-involving) in physical activity courses to their physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Midwestern university undergraduates (N = 412), enrolled in group physical activity classes, completed the following measures: class climate, physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that students who perceived a caring, task-involving climate were more likely to report high physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. A gender comparison found that while perceptions of the ego-involving climate were significantly higher for males, the ego climate did not significantly contribute to the males’ canonical correlation. In addition, while physical self-concept was positively associated with climate for both genders, males were more likely to experience higher physical self-concept than females. Results suggest positive and supportive exercise environments may not only help individuals reap the physical benefits of exercise but also the psychological benefits.

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Herbert W. Marsh and Robyn Sutherland Redmayne

This study examines relations between six components of physical self-concept (Endurance, Balance, Flexibility, Strength, Appearance, and general Physical Ability) and five components of physical fitness (Endurance, Balance, Flexibility, Static Strength, Explosive Strength/Power) for a sample (N = 105) of young adolescent girls aged 13 and 14. Hierarchical confirmatory factor analyses identified the six physical self-concept scales and provided support for a multidimensional, hierarchical model of physical self-concept. The pattern of correlations between specific components of physical self-concept and physical fitness generally supported the construct validity of the self-concept responses, and the correlation between second-order factors representing general physical self-concept and general physical fitness (r = .76) was substantial.

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Jeffrey Gehris, Jeff Kress and Ricky Swalm

This study investigated 10th-grade students’ views concerning the physical effects of an adventure-physical education curriculum and the potential of such a curriculum to enhance components of a multidimensional model of physical self-concept. Semistructured interviews were used to obtain students’ views and participant observations were conducted to corroborate those views. Open coding was used to analyze the data. Students viewed adventure activities as an alternative way to be physically active that was more fun and motivating than traditional forms of exercise. Students expressed how the adventure activities helped them build strength and endurance particularly in their arms and legs. Students felt seven components (body fat, coordination, endurance/fitness, flexibility, physical activity, sports competence, and strength) of physical self-concept were relevant to adventure-physical education and two components (appearance and health) were not. Implications for designing activities and employing teaching strategies to enhance the physical self-concept and fitness of young people are discussed.