Understanding the relationship between physical activity and self-esteem

Davenport, Thomas (2009) Understanding the relationship between physical activity and self-esteem. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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The rationale for encouraging young people to participate in regular exercise is evident when the many documented health benefits are considered (DoH, 2004). Physical activity (PA) has been linked consistently with enhanced self-esteem in children and adolescents, and it is a common rationale for teaching physical education in schools (Biddle & Mutrie, 2008). Questions are raised within the research literature about how interventions relate to the specific participant group (Cale & Harris, 2006). Therefore, any programme designed to increase PA and adherence must be designed specifically for the target group and their particular needs. As a consequence, an action research methodology was adopted and this study designed and delivered a programme of PA targeted to the needs of the group of pupils from a local sports college. The programme involved a mixture of activities, including walking, boxing, dance and tag rugby. The programme also included a visit to an outdoor education centre. This process involved a continual process of evaluation, action and change to ensure the programme remained targeted throughout and to ensure the views of the participants were taken into account throughout the programme. Data analysis explored the influence of the targeted PA programme upon the pupils' self­esteem, and their attitudes towards PA. The results demonstrated that the PA programme had a positive impact on the participants' self-esteem; the data illustrated an impact upon the pupils' perceived self-esteem through increasing feelings of self-worth and competence, through the experience of mastery and success. The influence of the outdoor activities on the participants' SE was marked. The participants' interactions with the coaches and researchers influenced their attitudes towards the exercise sessions, and a behaviour change was seen in a number of the participants; discussions with the participants indicated that their activity levels had increased as a result of the programme. It is recommended that in order to develop self-esteem PE teachers and coaches should incorporate opportunities for all pupils to experience mastery and success, and involve pupils in the planning process as far as possible. The use of outdoor and adventurous activities is recommended when attempting to increase self-esteem in adolescents. There is a need for further research to examine the relationships in this study between PA and self-esteem. In particular, there is a need for research investigating the influence of competence and self-worth feelings. There is a specific need for more longitudinal research in this area to establish the long term influence of the relationship.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Matthews, Nicnmatthews@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information: A print copy of this thesis is available for reference use only.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical activity; Self-esteem
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA773 Personal health and hygiene including clothing, bathing, exercise, travel, nutrition, sleep, sex hygiene
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2021 15:45
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:10
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10502

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