The main purpose of the present study was to examine the links between sports participation and self-esteem, with particular interest in the possible mediating role of physical self-esteem. The participants in this study were 382 students (167 boys; 215 girls) in Grades 5-8. Participants completed a series of paper and pencil measures, detailing their sports participation, as well as their self-perceptions concerning physical and general self-esteem. Sports participation was related to all indices of self-esteem and this was equally true for boys and girls. Two distinct but related factors were identified as components of physical self-esteem (Physical appearance and Physical competence), differentially associated with self-esteem for boys and girls. Results supported a mediational model, with physical self-esteem mediating the relationship between sports participation and general self-esteem. Significant sex differences were noted with regard to specific indices of physical self-esteem.
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science
Carleton University

Bowker, A. (2006). The relationship between sports participation and self-esteem during early adolescence. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science (Vol. 38, pp. 214–229). doi:10.1037/cjbs2006009