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Alex C. Garn, Alexandre J.S. Morin, Jeffrey Martin, Erin Centeio, Bo Shen, Noel Kulik, Cheryl Somers and Nate McCaughtry

This study investigated a reciprocal effects model (REM) of children’s body fat self-concept and physical self-concept, and objectively measured school physical activity at different intensities. Grade four students (N = 376; M age = 9.07, SD = .61; 55% boys) from the midwest region of the United States completed measures of physical self-concept and body fat self-concept, and wore accelerometers for three consecutive school days at the beginning and end of one school year. Findings from structural equation modeling analyses did not support reciprocal effects. However, children’s body fat self-concept predicted future physical self-concept and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Multigroup analyses explored the moderating role of weight status, sex, ethnicity, and sex*ethnicity within the REM. Findings supported invariance, suggesting that the observed relations were generalizable for these children across demographic groups. Links between body fat self-concept and future physical self-concept and MVPA highlight self-enhancing effects that can promote children’s health and well-being.

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

“In very broad terms, self-concept is a person’s perception of himself. These perceptions are formed through experiences with his environment [. . .] and are influenced by environmental reinforcement and significant others” ( Shavelson, Hubner, & Stanton, 1976 , p. 411). Self-concept is regarded as

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Herbert W. Marsh and Clark Perry

Elite athlete self-concepts contributed to championship performances in two international swimming championships beyond that which could be explained by previous personal best (PPB) performances for 257 of the world’s top swimmers from 30 countries. Responses to the Elite Swimmer Self-Description Questionnaire (ESSDQ) completed at the start of each championship (prior to competition) were psychometrically strong and resulted in a well-defined factor structure. Whereas championship performance was highly related to PPB performance (r = .90), structural equation models demonstrated that elite athlete self-concept also contributed significantly to the prediction of subsequent championship performance, explaining approximately 10% of the residual variance after controlling for PPB. For swimmers who competed in two events, results based on the first event were replicated in the second. The results have important theoretical, substantive, and practical implications for mentors and educators.

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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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Elizabeth Y. Brown, James R. Morrow Jr. and Stephen M. Livingston

The purpose of the present study was to determine if completion of a 14-week conditioning course affected the physical and total self-concepts of college-age women. Analysis of variance was used to contrast experimental and control groups of 50 subjects each on selected subscales of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale. Results indicated that the women showed significant differences in self-concept upon completion of the conditioning program; however, effects were not generalizable to all dimensions of self-concept. Implications are that training programs may be beneficial in their impact on selected aspects of the self-concept of women as well as the physiological parameters typically affected by conditioning programs. Self-concept profiles are developed for those women who entered the program as well as for those who completed the program.

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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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Emily Kristin Beasley and Alex C. Garn

This study examined the relationships among identified regulation, physical self-concept, global self-concept, and leisure-time physical activity with a sample of middle and high school girls (N = 319) enrolled in physical education. Based on Marsh’s theory of self-concept, it was hypothesized that a) physical self-concept would mediate the relationship between identified regulation and global self-concept and b) physical self-concept would mediate the relationship between identified regulation and leisure-time physical activity. Data analysis revealed a structural model in which physical self-concept mediated the relationship between identified regulation and global self-concept as well as the relationship between identified regulation and leisure-time physical activity. Findings provide support for examining self-concept from a hierarchical and domain-specific perspective. Results also offer greater understanding about one possible mechanism that links physical education to increases in global self-concept and leisure-time physical activity, which are considered important outcomes of quality education.

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Diane H. Craft and Patricia I. Hogan

Humanistic goals related to the affective domain have been of considerable influence in the justification of mainstreaming. Physical educators have traditionally identified development in this domain as a salient educational outcome of physical activity and of physical education programs. Concerning handicapped children in regular physical education programs, the benefits related to development in the affective domain have been espoused and projected to be significant. However, development in the affective domain (especially as related to self-concept and self-efficacy) does not occur incidentally, but must be planned for. This article elaborates on the constructs of self-concept and self-efficacy and discusses the implications for developing or enhancing these constructs in mainstreamed handicapped children.

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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, Clark Perry, Chris Horsely and Lawrence Roche

A broad cross-section of elite athletes (n = 83) was compared to a normative sample (n = 2,436) of nonathletes on the 13 self-concept scales for the Self-Description Questionnaire III (SDQIII). On these scales athletes had substantially higher Physical Ability self-concepts than nonathletes, but did not differ on Physical Appearance self-concepts. There were smaller differences favoring athletes on social scales (Same Sex, Opposite Sex, and Parent Relationships), Global Esteem, and the total self-concept. Group differences were not statistically significant for the academic scales (Math, Verbal, Academic, and Problem Solving) and Emotional self-concept, whereas nonathletes had marginally higher Spiritual and Honesty self-concepts. Athlete/nonathlete differences varied somewhat according to gender, generally favoring women athletes. Because the pattern of group differences (e.g., large differences in Physical Ability and minimal differences in Academic self-concept scales) is reasonably similar to a priori predictions, the results provide further support for the construct validity of SDQIII responses.