Apart from fun, challenges, and social interaction, one apparent learning outcome of physical education (PE) is the development of physical competence or attributes in terms of sport skills, general motor abilities, physical fitness, body outlook, etc. It seems likely that through school PE positive self-perceptions can be developed. Previous studies conducted among university and high school students across different countries confirmed that sport participation is related to more positive self-perceptions. However, it is not clear whether similar patterns can also be found in primary school children. This paper reports the findings of a recent study that involved 60 classes of upper primary pupils (N=2000) of ten Hong Kong schools. Cluster analysis was utilized to determine the relationship between sport participation and a set of psychological measures including goal orientations, global self-esteem, physical self-worth, and four sub-domain physical self-perceptions (sport competence, physical condition, body attractiveness, and physical strength). Findings were discussed in the light of social cognitive perspectives. Guidelines for teaching primary physical education were recommended.
|Published - 2004