Relationship of anthropometric characteristics and physical fitness with athletic self concept

Por: A. Papaioannou, A. Sagovits, G. Ampatzoglou e P. Kalogiannis.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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The positive effects of participation in programs of exercise and sports on the mental health of child and specifically on the global and the physical self-concept are generally acceptable. However, there are only few studies searching the relationship between physiological parameters and psychological characteristics, particularly at the age of childhood and adolescence. The aim of present research was the investigation of relation of anthropometric characteristics and the level of physical condition of students with their athletic self perception.


Two hundred five (N = 205) students (72 boys and 133 girls attending first grade of secondary education), were measured as for morphological characteristics (bodily weight and height, selected skin folds) and as for the physical condition (explosive strength, muscular endurance, static hand strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance).  They also completed a questionnaire of participation in programs of exercise and sports and the scales of perceived physical abilities and perceived physical appearance of Self Description Questionnaire II, [1]. Pearson’s r was used for the assessment of the cross-correlations. 


The analysis of results confirmed the reliability of scales (.83 > α >. 79). Perceived physical ability was negatively related with morphological  characteristics  (BMI  r = -.307, percent body fat r  = - .291,  p < .001), and positively related with  physical condition (r = .420,  p < .001)  and participation in programs of exercise (r  > .455,  p < 001).  Despite the positive correlation between perceived physical abilities and perceived physical appearance (r = .291,  p <.001)  the last one was not related with morphological characteristics, neither with the level of physical condition and the active participation in programs of exercise (r  < .10,  p < .001). 

Discussion / Conclusions

Similar with results of other researches [2, 3], students with increased bodily weight, increased indicators of body composition and low level of physical condition had low physical-athletic self concept, but similar perceptions of body attractiveness to their peers. The objective reality of the body condition of children affects in the configuration of their physical self-concept.



[1]. Marsh, H.W. (1992). Self Description Questionnaire II : Manual. Sydney : Publication Unit, Faculty of Education, University of Western Sydney.

[2]. Marsh, H.W., and Redmayne, R.S. (1994). Journal of Sport and Exercice Psychology 16:45-55.

[3]. Marsh, H.W., Richards, G. Johnson, S., Roche, L., and Tremayne, P. (1994). Journal of Sport and Exercice Psychology 16: 270-305.

[4]. Marsh, H.W., and Hattie, J. (1996) Handbook of Self-concept, ed. B.A. Bracken, 38-90. New York: Wiley.

[5]. Marsh, H.W. (1997). The Physical Self: From Motivation to Well-Being, ed. K.R. Fox, 27-58.    Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.




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