Exercise and self-esteem in middle-aged adults: Multidimensional relationships and physical fitness and self-efficacy influences

Edward McAuley, Shannou L. Mihalko, Susan M. Bane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the context of sedentary middle-aged adults, the present study examined the relationships among domain-specific and global levels of self- esteem over the course of a 20-week exercise program. Additionally, the roles played by physical fitness, body composition, self-efficacy, and exercise participation as possible contributors to changes in physical self-worth were examined. Significant improvements in self-esteem at all levels were discovered with global esteem, physical self-worth, and perceptions of physical condition and attractive body increasing. Tests of the hierarchical structure of self-esteem showed greater improvements in physical condition and physical self-worth than global esteem and the relationships between global esteem and subdomain levels were shown to be mediated by physical self-worth. Hierarchical regression analyses showed changes in ratings of importance to have little impact on changes in physical self-worth. Both changes in efficacy and aerobic capacity were demonstrated to account for modest but significant variation in physical self-esteem. Results are discussed in terms of contemporary models of self-esteem, potential mediators of exercise effects on esteem, and the need to measure the constructs of interest appropriately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 1997

Keywords

  • exercise
  • middle-aged adults
  • self-efficacy
  • self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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