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Steriani Elavsky

This 2-year prospective study examined the exercise and self-esteem model in middle-aged women (N = 143) previously enrolled in a randomized controlled exercise trial. Across the 2-year period, increases in physical activity (PA) and self-efficacy and reductions in body mass index (BMI) were associated with improved subdomain self-perceptions relative to physical condition, and reductions in BMI were associated with improved subdomain self-perceptions relative to physical condition and body attractiveness. The effects of PA, self-efficacy, and BMI on changes in physical self-worth and global self-esteem were mediated by changes in self-perceptions relative to physical condition and body attractiveness. The results of this longitudinal analysis support the hierarchical and multidimensional structure of self-esteem and indicate that middle-aged women can enhance how they perceive their condition and body attractiveness by continued participation in physical activity, increasing their self-efficacy, and maintaining healthy BMI levels.

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Véronique Richard, Wayne Halliwell and Gershon Tenenbaum

The study examined the effect of an improvisation intervention on figure skating performance, self-esteem, creativity, and mindfulness skills. Nine elite figure skaters participated in a 10-session program based on Cirque du Soleil artistic principles. A mixed methodology using questionnaires, competition scores, and interviews was used to test the program effects on these variables. Descriptive statistics revealed small but imperative increases in competition performance, perceived artistic performance, self-esteem, creativity, and mindfulness. Significant (p < .05) effect of time was revealed only for creativity and artistic performance variables. Qualitative data supported these results. Skaters described verbally that movements were performed more freely, attention was better focused on performance, and they overcame shyness. Quantitative and qualitative data are discussed interactively in relation to performance enhancement and personal growth.

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Sarah K. Sifers and Dana N. Shea

Girls on Track (GOTR/T) is a program focused on improving pre-teen (Girls on the Run) and young teen (Girls on Track) girls’ self-esteem and fostering a healthy lifestyle through running and all-inclusive development. The GOTR/T curriculum attempts to foster physical, psychological, and social well-being through education, team building, and physical activity. Participants in the present GOTR/T study (N = 111 girls, ages 8 to 13) completed the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System, Children’s Body Image Scale, Self-perception Profile for Children, and a measure of attitudes toward physical activity at the start of the program and at the conclusion. Guardians completed a consumer satisfaction survey. Self-perceptions of physical appearance and average size of ideal body image increased. Discrepancy between perceived real and ideal body image decreased. Guardian satisfaction with the program was high. Results suggest GOTR/T may help improve self-esteem in relation to physical appearance and body image. Improvements in other domains were not found, and the program did not improve behavioral and emotional functioning.

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Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Nikos Ntoumanis, Jennifer Cumming, Kimberley J. Bartholomew and Gemma Pearce

Using objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), this study tested the interaction between self-objectification, appearance evaluation, and self-esteem in predicting body satisfaction and mood states. Participants (N = 93) were physically active female university students. State self-objectification was manipulated by participants wearing tight revealing exercise attire (experimental condition) or baggy exercise clothes (control condition). Significant interactions emerged predicting depression, anger, fatness, and satisfaction with body shape and size. For participants in the self-objectification condition who had low (as opposed to high) appearance evaluation, low self-esteem was associated with high depression, anger, and fatness and low satisfaction with body shape and size. In contrast, for participants with high self-esteem, these mood and body satisfaction states were more favorable irrespective of their levels of appearance evaluation. For female exercisers, self-esteem-enhancing strategies may protect against some of the negative outcomes of self-objectification.

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Magnus Lindwall, Hulya Asci and Peter Crocker

The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of within-person change, and associations of change, in global self-esteem (GSE), physical self-perceptions (PSP), and physical activity in a sample of 705 Canadian adolescent girls over three measurements points and 24 months. The Physical Self-Perceptions Profile (PSPP) was used to measure GSE and PSP, and the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A) was used to assess physical activity. Latent growth curve models were used to analyze the data. All PSP variables except for body attractiveness demonstrated significant average decline, but also significant was the change in between-person heterogeneity. Change in GSE and PSP was moderately to strongly related on a between-person level and weakly to moderately associated on a within-person level. Change in physical activity was related to change in the majority of the PSP variables but not to change in GSE.

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Frode Stenseng and Lina Harvold Dalskau

Two studies were conducted to investigate the paradoxical behavior of obsessively passionate individuals: they tend to continue involvement in their passion activity despite reporting the activity as a source of ill-being. We suggested that elevated self-esteem in activity engagement could be one such persistence-promoting factor. In Study 1, we found that obsessively passionate individuals reported lower levels of global self-esteem compared with harmoniously passionate individuals, whereas they reported similar levels of activity-related self-esteem. We suggest that this indicates that obsessively passionate individuals try to compensate for low global self-esteem by utilizing self-esteem contingencies in their passion activity. Study 2 showed that activity-related self-esteem among obsessively passionate individuals was found to be strongly related to comparative performance evaluations, whereas no such relationship was found among harmoniously passionate individuals. We suggest that self-esteem contingencies related to comparative performance criteria represent a persistence-promoting factor among obsessively passionate individuals.

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M. Kjerstin Baldwin and Kerry S. Courneya

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between physical exercise and self-esteem in breast cancer survivors using Sonstroem and Morgan’s (1989) exercise and self-esteem model (EXSEM). Participants were 64 women from four breast cancer support groups. Each participant completed a battery of self-administered questionnaires that assessed exercise participation, physical competence, physical acceptance, and global self-esteem. Pearson correlation analyses demonstrated that physical acceptance, physical competence, and exercise participation each had significant zero-order relationships with global self-esteem. Multiple regression analysis determined that these three constructs together explained 46% of the variance in global self-esteem. Consistent with hypotheses, path analysis showed that the significant relationship between exercise participation and global self-esteem was mediated entirely by physical competence. It was concluded that the EXSEM may be a viable framework for examining the mechanisms by which physical exercise may influence self-esteem in breast cancer survivors.

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Vicki Ebbeck and Moira E. Stuart

This investigation examined the extent to which perceptions of competence and importance predicted self-esteem. Players (N = 214) from three grade levels (3–4, 5–6, 7–8) completed questionnaires that assessed perceived basketball competence, as well as each player’s perception of how important it was to himself, his parents, his coach, and his team to be good at basketball. Three nonstepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that the set of predictor variables accounted for 20–28% of the variance in self-esteem across grade levels. The individual predictor variables significantly related to self-esteem were perceived competence and perceived parent importance for Grades 3–4, perceived competence for Grades 5–6, and perceived competence and perceived team importance for Grades 7–8. Perceived competence, however, consistently contributed most substantively to the prediction of self-esteem. These findings are discussed in relation to earlier studies and existing conceptual frameworks.

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Sharon R. Guthrie

Self-esteem changes among adult women who had been practicing seido karate for at least six months and had acquired the perceived ability to physically self-defend were examined in this study. The research site was a feminist martial arts dojo for women in a midwestern state. Thirty women, aged 26-62, participated in strucured interviews. All of the women perceived improvements in self-esteem after participating in martial arts training for at least six months. These self-esteem changes were perceived to be related to improvement in physical self-perception. Recovery from psychosexual abuse, eating disorders, substance abuse, and growing up in dysfunctional families was another commonly perceived consequence of martial arts training, and most of the participants who had experienced such problems believed their martial arts practice was a valuable adjunct to traditional therapeutic approaches. Significantly, however, they viewed certain aspects of the feminist environment, particularly its gynocentricity, as essential to the self change process. A relationship between the martial arts experience, particularly gaining the ability to defend oneself physically, and other attitudes and behaviors related to self-perception is suggested.

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Maureen R. Weiss, Vicki Ebbeck, Edward McAuley and Diane M. Wiese

This study explored the relationship between children's self-esteem and attributions for performance in both physical and social achievement domains. Children's physical and social self-esteem as well as perceptions of and attributions for performance and interpersonal success in a summer sports program were assessed. Multivariate analyses revealed a significant relationship between self-esteem and causal attributions for both physical and social domains. For physical competence, children high in self-esteem made attributions that were more internal, stable, and higher in personal control than did low self-esteem children. For social competence, children high in self-esteem made attributions that were more internal, stable, and higher in personal and lower in external control than did children low in self-esteem. These results provided support for a self-consistency approach to self-esteem.