Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Self-Perceptions, Self-Worth and Sport Participation in Adolescents

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Self-Perceptions, Self-Worth and Sport Participation in Adolescents

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to study the associations between specific self-perceptions and global self-worth with different frequency levels of sport participation among Spanish boys and girls adolescents. Students (457 boys and 460 girls) completed the Self Perception Profile for Children (Harter, 1985) and items assessing sport engagement from The Health Behavior in School Children Questionnaire (Wold, 1995). Results showed that some specific dimensions of self-perception were related to different frequency of sport participation whereas overall judgments of self-worth did not. Specifically, for boys and girls, higher levels of sport participation were positively associated to Athletic Competence, and for boys were also associated with Physical Appearance and Social Acceptance. The potential implications of domain specific socialisation processes on the configuration of self-perceptions are highlighted.

Keywords: self-perceptions, self-worth, adolescents, sport participation, gender.

El objetivo de este estudio fue analizar las relaciones entre determinadas autopercepciones y la autovalía global con diferentes niveles de frecuencia de participación deportiva en chicos y chicas adolescentes Españoles. Los estudiantes (457 chicos y 460 chicas) cumplimentaron el "Self Perception Profile for Children" (Harter, 1985) e ítems del "Health Behavior in School Children Questionnaire" (Wold, 1995) que valoran la participación deportiva. Los resultados mostraron que algunas dimensiones de autopercepción estaban asociadas con diferentes frecuencias de participación deportiva mientras que los juicios generales de autovalía no lo estaban. En concreto, en chicos y chicas, los elevados niveles de participación deportiva estuvieron positivamente asociados con Competencia Deportiva, y en chicos estuvieron también asociados con Apariencia Física y Aceptación Social. Se destacan las implicaciones potenciales de los procesos de socialización en determinados ámbitos sobre la configuración de las autopercepciones.

Palabras clave: autopercepciones, autovalía, adolescentes, participación deportiva, género.

Since the seminal work of James (1890), self-esteem has been considered to be an index of well-being or mental health. From the perspective of various disciplines, researchers have been exploring how individuals' evaluations of self-esteem can be maintained or improved. One of the life domains in which levels of self-esteem can be affected is the athletic context (Bowker, Gadbois, & Cornock, 2003; Fox, 2000; Smoll, Smith, & Barnet, 1993).

Sport is an important context for teenagers (Eccles, Barber, Stone, & Hunt, 2003). Involvement in sport activities allows adolescents to interact with others (e.g., peers, coaches), and to develop in several important aspects in their lives, such as, athletic aspects (e. g., learn and develop different physical skills), social aspects (e.g., to make friends), physical aspects (e.g., build body) and health aspects (e.g., physical fitness, obesity). The nature of their sport experience and the consequences of this participation allow them to develop their self-concept, specifically their physical and social self-perceptions.

From a psychosocial perspective, sport participation (e. g., playing organized football, tennis or handball) can hold different implications for boys and girls in our society. Currently, sport is still considered mainly a male domain (Gill, 2004) and as a consequence via socialization processes, parents and other significant adults have higher expectations for boys participating in sport than girls (i.e., Eccles, Jacobs, & Harold, 1990; Frederic & Eccles, 2004; Greendorfer, 1993). Via such socialization process, boys and girls learn a constellation of physical and psychological characteristics held to be appropriated to the masculine and feminine gender that is determined by society (Deaux, 1984). In essences teenagers through the process of gender identification learn stereotypes linked to being a boy or girl in their culture through sport engagement. …

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