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.
M. Kjerstin Baldwin is with the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, Calgary, AB Canada T2N 1N4. Kerry S. Courneya is now with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, E-401 Van Vliet Center, Edmonton, AB Canada T6G 2H9. Request reprints from K.S. Courneya.