Self-esteem development through the physical: In search of the theoretical underpinning

Wah Edward CHOW

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


School physical education is potentially able to help school children develop positive self-esteem because it provides the contexts for fulfilling the innate need for effectance, optimal challenges, and self-determination. In this paper, self-esteem was conceptualized to be multidimensional and hierarchical with its development following a bottom-up cognitive model. It was suggested that self-esteem development is self-directed in that, firstly, actual physical competence does not directly affact self-esteem but is subjectively interpreted and received to become physical self-perception that in turn affects self-esteem, and secondly, different individuals may adopt different conceptions of success and thus hold different standards for self-evaluation. Hence, the relevance of achievement orientations to self-esteem development through the physical was also discussed. Copyright © 2002 Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
JournalJournal of Physical Education & Recreation (Hong Kong)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002



Chow, E. W. (2002). Self-esteem development through the physical: In search of the theoretical underpinning. Journal of Physical Education & Recreation (Hong Kong), 8(1), 45-52.


  • Development of Disciplinary Knowledge (e.g. Sociology, Psychology)