Relationship Between An Index Of Physical Activity And Selected Variables Of Self-perception In Adolescents

Por: J. Mico, Li Orona e Maurice Pierón.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction
Empirical research suggests that there exists a relationship between the physical activity levels of youth and their
perceptions of health, appearance and competence in PE and sports (Dishman, 1990). The purpose of the present
research was to determine the relationship during adolescence.

Research method
Subjects. Participants in the study were 1167 schoolchildren of secondary schools in the Principality of Andorra. A total
of 1098 questionnaires were correctly completed by 482 boys (43.9%) and 616 girls (56.1%).
Instrumentation. A questionnaire was devised to study sports habits of 14 to 17 year-old adolescents. The questionnaire
dealt with motivation towards sports activities, participation in organised and unorganised sports activities (frequency,
duration, competition), and perception of health, appearance and athletic abilities. An index of physical activities,
ranging from 3 (very inactive) to 9 (very active) was computed from various aspects of participation.
Data processing. Data were processed by the SPSS software. Beside descriptive data, correlation coefficients were
computed. Comparisons were made according to age and gender.

Results
Boys scored significantly higher than girls on the various aspects of sports and physical activity participation and
perception of health, appearance and athletic abilities. A trend of decreasing the participation was also observed
according to age, especially in girls.
Correlation coefficients between the physical activity index were not significant for the perception of appearance,
except for 14-year-old boys. In terms of health, correlation coefficients were significant only in boys. In all age and sex
groups, the correlation coefficients between the index of activity and perception of athletic capacity (competence) were
relatively low but significant (p=.01).

Discussion
Gender was once again an important consideration in this study particularly in terms of perceived competence in sports
activities. Positive self-perceptions such as physical health and perceived competence were associated with physical
activity and sports participation. The size of the correlations was coherent with findings related to other psychological
variables like goal orientation.

References
[1]. Piéron, M. (2002) Estudi sobre els hàbits esportius dels escolars d’Andorra. Govern d’Andorra, Ministeri
d’Educació Joventut i Esports.
[2]. Dishman, R.K. (1990). Determinants of participation in physical activity. In C. Bouchard, R.J. Shephard, T.
Stephens, J.R. Sutton, & B.D. McPherson (Eds.), Exercise, fitness and health: A consensus of current knowledge.
Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 75-101

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