Intrinsic Effects of Physical Activity on Self-Concept and Academic Achievement of Preadolescents

Ellis, Norman
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Participation in physical education classes not only improves health and promotes lifelong healthy habits, but may also increase self-concept and self-esteem. Any increase in self-concept may also lead to improved academic performance. These potential increases can be further optimized by presenting quality and regular physical education in sufficient quantity by PE Specialists. The current study examined the relationships between physical education and the resulting physical activity, students’ self-concept and academic achievement, for Grade 3 and 5 students at two Honolulu, HI public elementary schools. The analysis examined differences between males and females and PE instruction. It was hypothesized that regular and quality PE will have a noticeable effect on self-concept in children. It was also hypothesized that the change in self-concept facilitated by regular and quality PE will have a noticeable effect on academic achievement in preadolescents and that any changes facilitated by regular quality PE will vary by age and gender (i.e. Grade 3 vs. Grade 5; males vs. females). Although improvement to self-concept resulting from physical education participation was not significant for all participants, females did realize a significant improvement when quality instruction was used. The effect of physical education on academic achievement could not be correlated or a relationship established, but time spent in physical education class was not a detriment to students’ academic success.
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