Exploring Physical Self-Perception Dimensions among the Youth in Korea

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Chang-Hoon Seong, University of Inchon, Byoung Jun Kim and Taeho Yu, Seoul National University, and Young In Chang, Sunchon National University

The study of physical self-concept and self-esteem has been rejuvenated in the past years (Fox, 1997; Sonstroem, 1997). However, the majority of self-concept research was conducted in the Western cultures (i.e., Europe and North America) with an emphasis on the development of multidimensional physical self scales and the examination of hierarchical structure of physical self-concept. Incorporation of culture in the study of physical self-concept may provide insight into the cultural impact on physical self-perception. Hence, the purpose of the present study was to identify broad range of components that contribute to physical self-perception formation among the youth in Korea. Middle school-aged students and athletes (299 boys and 181 girls) responded to an open-ended question regarding the components of physical self-perception. A total of 566 meaningful responses from the general students and 571 responses from the athletes were recorded and content-analyzed. Twelve and 15 first-order themes emerged for the general students and athletes, respectively. These first-order themes were grouped into more general second-order themes. Seven second-order themes of physical self-perception emerged for the general students and the athletes: physical fitness (32. …