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Self-perception and participation in school sports
  1. Luís Santos,
  2. Hilário Gomes,
  3. Sebastião Sequeira,
  4. Cristina Cruz,
  5. Adilson Marques
  1. Francisco Carreiro da Costa Faculty of Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Cruz Quebrada – Dafundo, Portugal


The aim of this study was to analyse the relationship between students' participation in school sports (SS) and their self-perception. A total of 2535 students (1290 boys, 1245 girls) aged ranged 10 and 18 years old participated in this study. Data was collected using a questionnaire related to students' self-perception, more particularly questions linked with their perception of competence, elegance, healthy, physical appearance and participation in SS. To analyse if the participation in SS was different according to the variables of self-perceptions, we used the t-test. 18% of students mentioned they took part in SS. Among these participants, 82% said that they trained twice a week. On a scale of 1–5, students generally considered themselves as being elegant (M=3.4±1), fit (M=3.5±0.7) and showed they were quite satisfied with their physical appearance (3.7±1.1). Regarding their perception of health, they answered that they were healthy (M=3.1±0.1, on a scale from 1 to 4). Comparing their participation in SS according with the variables of self-perceptions, there were not significant differences in their perception of health (p=0.746), elegance (p=0.367) and physical appearance (p=0.804). Regarding perception of competence there were significant differences (p=0.007), and it is possible to conclude that those who revealed more physical abilities were those who were involved in SS. Based upon the results the participation in SS was independent of their perception of elegance, health and satisfaction with body image. However it was observed that students with higher levels of self-perception participated more than those with lower levels. This may suggest that if correctly stimulated by teachers, students' participation in SS could increase.

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