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Exercising the self: on the role of exercise, gender and culture in physical self-perceptions
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In modern society, individuals constantly pass judgments on their own body and physical competence as well as that of other people. All too often, the verdict is less favourable. For the person, these physical self-perceptions (PSP) may negatively affect global self-esteem, identity, and general mental well being. The overall aim of this thesis is to examine primarily the role that exercise, but also the roles that gender and culture, play in the formation of PSP. In Study I, using confirmatory factor analyses, strong support for the validity of a first-order, and a second-order hierarchical and multidimensional model of the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP: Fox & Corbin, 1989) was found across three national samples (Great Britain, Sweden and Turkey) of university students. Cross-cultural differences were detected, with the British sample demonstrating higher latent means on all PSPP subdomains except for the physical condition subdomain (Condition), than the Swedish and Turkish samples. In Study II, a higher self-reported exercise frequency was associated with more positive PSP (in particular for Condition) and more importance attributed to PSP in Swedish university students. Males demonstrated higher overall PSPP-scores than females. In Study III, a true-experimental design with randomisation into an intervention and a control group was adopted. Strong support for the effects of an empowerment-based exercise intervention programme on PSP and social physique anxiety (SPA) over six months for adolescent girls was found. The relations of exercise, gender and culture with PSP, SPA and self-esteem are discussed from the standpoints of a variety of theoretical models (the EXSEM-model), and frameworks (self-presentation and objectification theory). The two theories of self-enhancement and skill-development are examined with regard to the direction of the exercise-physical self relationship and motivation for exercise. Arguments for the relevance of exercise and PSP for practitioners in promoting general mental well-being and preventing modern-day diseases are outlined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University, Departement of Psychology , 2004. , p. 136
Keywords [en]
Physical self-perceptions, exercise, gender, culture, social physique anxiety, self-presentation
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-605Local ID: 2082/947ISBN: 91-7265-871-1 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-605DiVA, id: diva2:237785
Public defence
(English)
Available from: 2007-04-11 Created: 2007-04-11 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A Cross-Cultural Evaluation of a Multidimensional and Hierarchical Model of Physical Self-Perceptions in Three National Samples
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Cross-Cultural Evaluation of a Multidimensional and Hierarchical Model of Physical Self-Perceptions in Three National Samples
2004 (English)In: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, ISSN 0021-9029, E-ISSN 1559-1816, Vol. 34, no 5, p. 1075-1107Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A multidimensional and hierarchical model of self-perceptions in the physical domain was evaluated in samples from 3 nations: Great Britain, Sweden, and Turkey. The Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP; Fox & Corbin, 1989), was translated and tested for factorial and construct validity in each national sample. A first-order confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) hypothesizing 4 latent factors representing the subdomains of sports competence, body attractiveness, physical condition, and physical strength was found to describe the PSPP data adequately for each national sample. A second-order CFA model that hypothesized a general latent factor of physical self-worth also exhibited good fit with the data from each sample, supporting the validity of the instrument in the national groups. Multi-sample analyses provided support for both models across samples, although selected items exhibited disparate meanings. The subdomain mean scores were significantly higher in the British sample compared with the Swedish and Turkish samples, with the exception of the physical condition subscale, which was higher in the Swedish and Turkish samples. Overall, these findings support the factor structure of the hierarchical, multidimensional model of physical self-perceptions across the national samples.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bellwether Publishing, 2004
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-348 (URN)0.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02584.x (DOI)000223882600009 ()2-s2.0-4944240000 (Scopus ID)2082/661 (Local ID)2082/661 (Archive number)2082/661 (OAI)
Available from: 2006-12-21 Created: 2006-12-21 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved
2. The role of exercise and gender for physical self-perceptions and importance ratings in Swedish university students
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of exercise and gender for physical self-perceptions and importance ratings in Swedish university students
2004 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, ISSN 0905-7188, E-ISSN 1600-0838, Vol. 14, no 6, p. 373-380Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to investigate how scores on the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP), including scores on the Perceived Importance Profile (PIP), were related to self-reported exercise frequency, duration, and gender in sample of Swedish university students. A total of 164 participants completed the PSPP, PIP, and a questionnaire focusing on frequency and duration of exercise. Exercise frequency, duration, and gender predicted best the PSPP sub-domains of Sport Competence and Physical Conditioning. Exercising more frequently, and for a longer time on each occasion was associated with higher PSPP and PIP scores. Women generally displayed lower PSPP scores than men. These results suggest that exercise professionals need to master a range of appropriate exercise strategies, since doubts concerning self-presentation may work against establishing a regular exercise routine.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2004
Keywords
Exercise, Gender, Perceived importance, Physical self-perception
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-365 (URN)10.1046/j.1600-0838.2003.372.x (DOI)000225188700007 ()15546333 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-10344227709 (Scopus ID)2082/684 (Local ID)2082/684 (Archive number)2082/684 (OAI)
Available from: 2007-01-04 Created: 2007-01-04 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved
3. The effects of a 6-month exercise intervention programme on physical self-perceptions and social physique anxiety in non-physically active adolescent Swedish girls
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effects of a 6-month exercise intervention programme on physical self-perceptions and social physique anxiety in non-physically active adolescent Swedish girls
2005 (English)In: Psychology of Sport And Exercise, ISSN 1469-0292, E-ISSN 1878-5476, Vol. 6, no 6, p. 643-658Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives:

To examine the effects of a 6-month exercise intervention programme (EIP) on physical self-perceptions (PSP) and social physique anxiety (SPA) of non-physically active adolescent Swedish girls.

Methods:

A true experimental design with randomization into an intervention or control group was used. The empowerment based EIP, offered to the intervention group twice a week for 6 months, consisted of 45-min exercise sessions followed by 15 min of discussions regarding a healthy lifestyle. A variety of exercise activities, chosen by the participants themselves, were used. Twenty-seven participants in the intervention group and 35 in the control group completed the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP) and the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS) at pre- and posttest and, in addition, physical fitness, weight and height were measured.

Results and conclusions:

The intent to treat analysis showed no significant improvements in PSPP subdomains, but lower SPAS scores for the intervention group, compared to the control group. However, when using a less conservative analysis, including only those who completed assessments both pre- and post-intervention, the intervention significantly reduced both PSPP subdomain and SPAS scores. The changes in PSPP and SPAS scores were not linked to changes in physiological variables. The results are put in the context of previous longitudinal and review studies, theoretical frameworks and models. The direction of effects, possible mechanisms and limitations of the study are discussed along with practical applications linked to exercise and modern diseases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2005
Keywords
Exercise, Intervention, Physical self-perceptions, Social-physique anxiety
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-363 (URN)10.1016/j.psychsport.2005.03.003 (DOI)000233843800003 ()2-s2.0-27944485654 (Scopus ID)2082/682 (Local ID)2082/682 (Archive number)2082/682 (OAI)
Available from: 2007-01-04 Created: 2007-01-04 Last updated: 2018-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Lindwall, Magnus

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