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Does Physical Activity Have an Impact on Self-Esteem?

By gregjoker Nov 01, 2008 2981 Words
Does physical activity have an impact on self-esteem?

Abstract
This experiment is being conducted to test the correlation between physical activity and self esteem. Two simple questionnaires are going to be used and the participants will all be students at the University of Gloucestershire. A. Raustrop, E. Mattsson, k. Svensson& A. Stahle’s work on physical activity and self esteem has encouraged and helped this experiment.

Introduction

Self-esteem has been linked to physical activity in a few recent researches’ but only in near on sub content way and not as directly as this experiment aims to investigate their relationship and hopefully correlation. Self-esteem is a lay term that is frequently used in everyday life, (Rosenberg 1979, cited in Maltby, Day and Macaskill, 2007) defines self-esteem as an indication of the degree to which you experience yourself as worthy and capable, Colman (2006) also agrees, defining self-esteem as one’s attitude towards oneself or one’s opinion or evalution of oneself, which may be positive, neutral or low. Self esteem may also be know as self evaluation. Therefore the concept of self esteem can be described as the emotional relationship one has with themselves (Maltby et al, 2007). Many factors are important for the individual level of daily physical activity for a healthy lifestyle such as cultural, social and personal factors and an important personal factor is self esteem (in daily life) (Whitehead, 1995). Levels of self esteem have been identified as an important factor in predicting reactions to feedback, motivation and behavious ((Kernis et al. 1993, Cited in Maltby et al. 2007) and motivation is fundamental in learning situations (Deci & Ryan 1985). Everyone has heard of people ‘comfort eating’, a system of self soothing which has been linked back to mothers soothing their babies with milk when the baby cries, the main principle of comfort eating is that some form of sadness, from loneliness to bored, causes an individual to eat. If this sadness is due to low self esteem caused by obesity or just being a little over weight then other than sensible dieting an increase in physical activity can cut out both the weight problem and the problem of comfort eating, saving money and, if the participant is mortally obese, even lives. It is factors like this that make me question the effect physically activity has on an individual’s self esteem. I predict to will see a positive and reasonable correlation between self esteem and physical activity, ergo, if a participants response is high for the amount of physical activity they participant in, their self esteem should also be high and the same in a reverse way, the lower the amount of physical activity a participant says they take part in, the lower self esteem score I expect to see.

Method

Participants
All Participants were undergraduate students from the University of Gloucestershire. They were selected using an opportunity sample from around the campus, halls, second year lectures in psychology and creative writing, this is to ensure a variance in results and to prevent collecting data from a group.

Design
For this correlational study the research was conducted as a within subject design, both questionnaires were completed by the same participant in one sitting as the questionnaires were fused together so the participant did not have their opinions swayed if they began to work out what the experiment was trying to research. To counterbalance any order effects the questionnaires were randomly presented to participants. This counterbalanced any fatigue or other order effects that participants of the within subject design may have been experiencing. Questionnaires were also stapled together with one half of all questionnaires having questions on physical activity first and self esteem second and the other half in the reverse order, this was to attempt to counter balance any bias that may have been created in the participants minds by questions they answered first.

Apparatus/Materials

An ethics proposal form, consent form and two questionnaires were required. Rosenberg’s Self-esteem scale (1965) was used as a model for an original self esteem questionnaire and an original physical activity questionnaire was also used. These two questionnaires were selected as they could allow easy correlation as one uses a Likert Scale and the other open ended numerical values. To analyse the data the computer program SPSS will also be used. Basic questions were asked such as height, weight, gender, age and course to ease the participant into answering questions. The physical activity questionnaire asked height and weight at the top whilst the self esteem questionnaire asked age, gender and course first, this was to ensure that whichever order the participant received the questionnaires in they would have simple questions to start them off. An example of one of the physical activity questionnaire questions is; How many hours a week do you exercise a strenuous amount (heart beats rapidly)?____ where and an answer such as ‘5’ could have been inputted. A question from the self esteem questionnaire read as; Please select from the following as responses for each question; SA(strongly agree), A(agree), N(neither agree nor disagree), D(disagree) or SD(strongly disagree). Do you feel you have a lot to be proud of? Where a an answer of ’SA‘ would have been acceptable (see appendix for full questions from questionnaires).

Procedure

After approaching a potential subject they were asked if they wanted to participate in a psychology experiment which would only take around ten minutes of their time. The consent form was presented to them before the questionnaires and after they read and signed it the standardised instructions were given (see appendix). Questionnaires were presented to them in one stapled together pack, although they were in different orders in different packs. Participants were asked to fill out the questionnaires in silence and without conferring with others. Once the questionnaire was completed the researcher gave a debriefing that included a contact e-mail in case they had any queries or troubles later and checked there were no questions from the participants at the time.

Results
Excluding the five general questions used to ease participants into answering questions (age, gender, height, weight and course of study) the physical activity questionnaire consisted of ten questions as did the self esteem questionnaire. As not all participants filled in their height and weight participants are being identified by their course, age and gender. To analyse the data collected two different scoring systems have been devised, the first a scoring system much like Rosenburg’s was used in the self esteem questionnaire. ‘SA‘ was worth 5 ‘points’, ‘A’ was worth four, ‘N’; 3, ‘D’;2 and ‘SD’ was worth 1. On the questionnaire questions two, six, eight and nine had their scores reversed due to the nature of the question being negatively posed. With this scoring system in place the minimum a participant could score was 10 points and the maximum a participant could score was 50 points, thus a potential range of 40. Much the same with the physical activity questionnaire a scoring system was again devised however not all questions were used to create a score for the participants. The questions used for creating a score for physical activity were the following three; How many hours a week do you exercise a strenuous amount (heart beats rapidly)?____, How many hours a week do you exercise a moderate amount (not exhausting)?____ and How many hours a week do you exercise a mild amount (minimal effort)?____. For the first question for every hour the participant wrote as an answer the number was then multiplied by three, for the second question the number was multiplied by two and for the last question the number was multiplied by one, then all three new results were added together and the scoring system was completed. Below is a chart with the scores that were then used for analysing fully collected (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1

Now the useful data was in place and participants renamed as numbers a new chart was created.

Fig. 2

Next the results had to be put on to a scatter chart through the computer program SPSS. Below is the scatter graph with the data points plotted (Fig. 3). Fig. 3

Next was to add a line of best fit and find it’s equation along withe the R² value (below, Fig. 4)

Fig. 4
y = 1.094x - 14.65
R² = 0.086

Next was to collect the statistical data from SPSS

Fig. 5

Statistics
Self.Esteem.ScoreExercise.Score
NValid3030
Missing00
Std. Deviation6.9626325.96381
Variance48.478674.120

Fig. 6
With an average age for participants of 20

Discussion

With an R squared value of 0.086 we can see that there was no significant correlation between the values of physical activity and self esteem for the participants from the University of Gloucestershire, it is possible that outliers may have affected the final R squared value (see appendix) but in all probability two main outliers would not be likely to have enough of an effect on the final result and make the difference up if removed of 0.086 to 0.05. One of the main limitations of the experiment was the number of participants even though there was an age range of 18, twice the age of the youngest participant, with a larger number of completed questionnaires truer results would become apparent for the actual correlation between physical activity and self esteem, if there is any, for the students at the University of Gloucestershire. If this experiment was to be performed again in the future perhaps a few changes and/or amendments may need to be made, a different scoring system for physical activity would be the first difference as it is possible that the scoring system may have thrown the results out. The standard deviation of Physical Activity was 25.96381 whilst Self Esteem’s standard deviation was only 6.96263 most likely showing that the physical activity scoring system has thrown the results of correlation testing out. The Likert scale for self esteem is a tried and tested scale and originally it was thought that it would work well with the new scale for measuring physical activity that was devised for this experiment however with an R squared value of greater than 0.05 we can see that there is no significant correlation but if we look at basic statistics of the experiment a range of 109 in physical activity compared to 30 in self esteem may give a clue as to why the correlation was insignificant. This could be combated by perhaps halving the physical activity score but that may become awkward with results that could come out as X.5 so maybe simply doubling the self esteem score may change the significance of correlation.

References
A. Raustrop, E. Mattsson, k. Svensson& A. Stahle’s, 2005, “Physical Activity, Body Composition, and Physical Self Esteem”, Blackwell, Stockholm.

Albery, C. Chandler, A. Field, D.Jones, D.Messer, S.Moore, C.Sterling. Edited by G. Davey, 2007, “Complete Psychology”, Hodder Arnold, London.

A.M. Colman, 2006, “Oxford Dictionary of Psychology”, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

M. Ryan, 2008, “The antidepressant effects of physical activity: Mediating self-esteem and self-efficacy mechanisms”, Taylor & Francis, London.

Appendices

I understand that my participation in this project will involve the filling in of two questionnaires which will take around ten minutes to complete.

I understand that my participation in this study is entirely voluntary and that I can withdraw from the study at any time for any reason without loss.

I understand that I am free to ask questions at any time. If for any reason I experience discomfort in any way I am free to withdraw or discuss my concerns with ****

I understand that the information provided by me will be held anonymously such that it is impossible to trace the information back to me individually. I understand that, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, this information may be retained indefinitely. Finally, I also understand that at the end of the study I will be provided with additional information and feedback.

I, .......................................... consent to participate in the study conducted by ****, School of Health and Social Sciences, University of ****.

Signed:

Date:

Preliminary Approval Form, Research Carried out within Psychology Field

Student Number
Module
Assignment Number

Please fill in and collect this form in good time. You will be awarded 0 F if you fail to gain approval before doing the study

The proposed study will be to analyse the correlation between the general physical activity of students and their own self-esteem. Students from the University of **** will be approached. As they are students, a very varied group of individuals and many are members of sports societies and teams they are suitable for the study.

A questionnaire will be used to find out data. A separate sheet will be used in order to gain the participant’s consent to participate in the study. Then the data obtained from them shall be entered anonymously into a database. The consent forms will be kept separately from the questionnaires to ensure total anonymity.

The proposed study was mentioned in a journal article by Ryan, Michael P (2008). His study was on the anti-depressant factors of physical activity and how it mediated self-esteem and self-efficacy mechanisms. Other studies of a similar nature have been conducted by Friedman, Sandra (2008), Vartanian, Lenny R.; Shaprow, Jacqueline G. (2008) as well as by Schmalz, Dorothy L.; Deane, Glenn D.; Birch, Leann L.; Davison, Kirsten Krahnstoever; (2007). The aforementioned studies investigate the proposed study in different areas of the world, predominantly investigating the effects of the two aspects of the physical activeness and self esteem of participators.

I predict to see appositive, reasonably strong correlation between self esteem and physical activity.

(continue as necessary on separate sheet)
Have you read the University and BPS ethical guidelines?

YESNO
Please attach a copy of your consent form.

Signature of Student
E1. Approval is given to approach the participant
E2. Approval is not given until a new consent form has been agreed. E3. Approval is not given, the study should be altered in light of recommendations by module tutor. E4. Approval is not given and an alternative study should be planned. CodeSignature of Module Tutor

Self Esteem Score
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent
Valid2413.33.33.3
2513.33.36.7
2926.76.713.3
3213.33.316.7
33516.716.733.3
3413.33.336.7
3613.33.340.0
3726.76.746.7
40310.010.056.7
4126.76.763.3
42516.716.780.0
4326.76.786.7
4426.76.793.3
4613.33.396.7
5813.33.3100.0
Total30100.0100.0

Exercise Score
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent
Valid6413.313.313.3
813.33.316.7
926.76.723.3
1013.33.326.7
1126.76.733.3
1226.76.740.0
1726.76.746.7
1813.33.350.0
2013.33.353.3
2126.76.760.0
2426.76.766.7
2813.33.370.0
3413.33.373.3
3526.76.780.0
3613.33.383.3
4013.33.386.7
5413.33.390.0
6513.33.393.3
9613.33.396.7
11513.33.3100.0
Total30100.0100.0

Scatter Graph with outliers emphasised.

Questions from questionnaires
Age: ____
Course: ____________________________________
Sex:____
Please select from the following as responses for each question; SA (strongly agree), A (agree), N (neither agree nor disgaree), D (disagree) or SD (strongly disagree). In general how satisfied with yourself would you say you are? ____ How often at times do you feel you are no good? ____

Do you feel you have a number of good qualities? ____
Do you feel you are able to do things as well as most other people? ____ Do you feel you have a lot to be proud of? ____
Do you at times feel useless? ____
Do you feel you have at least the same worth as others? ____ Do you often wish you could have more respect for yourself? ____ Are you inclined to feel that you are a failure? ____
Do you take a positive attitude toward yourself? ____
***
Height____
Weight____
How many hours a week do you exercise a strenuous amount (heart beats rapidly)? ____ How many hours a week do you exercise a moderate amount (not exhausting)?____ How many hours a week do you exercise a mild amount (minimal effort)?____ How many different sports and/or physically demanding tasks to you take part in during an average week? ____ On average how many miles a day do you think you walk? ____

How many days a week do you study (not including lectures and seminars)?____ How many hours of teaching do you attend a week?____
How many hours sleep do you get in an average night?____

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