Does Attraction Towards Physical Activity Influence Self-concept or Level of Physical Activity in Children
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science
Although there is concern that young children are missing out on the physical and psycho-social benefits of physical activity, little is known about the relative contribution of attraction towards physical activity to self-concepts and to children's level of participation in physical activity. In this study we explored the likelihood that children who report higher attraction to physical activity differ in key aspects of self-concept and level of physical activity from peers who report lower attraction to physical activity. Children (N= 328), aged 6 to 8 years, completed the Children's Attraction to Physical Activity scale (Brustad, 1993); the Self-Description Questionnaire - 1 (Marsh, Craven, & Debus, 1991). Of these children, 124 were assessed on physical activity level with pedometers (Yamex SW200). Results indicated a general pattern in which children who were least attracted to physical activity had the lowest self'concepts (physical ability, peer relationships, parent relationships, physical appearance, and general self-worth). Attraction to physical activity did not influence actual activity level. Although children with a strong attraction to physical activity were more likely to have positive self-concepts about there physical ability, they were not more physically active than their peers who reported weaker attractions to physical activity.