OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the discrepancy between actual and ideal body size rating is related to Chinese children's global self-esteem and global physical self-concept.
DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of school children who completed questionnaires related to global self-esteem, global physical self-concept, and actual vs ideal body size.
SUBJECTS: A total of 386 Chinese children (44% girls and 56% boys) aged 7-13 y from a primary school in Hong Kong, China.
MEASUREMENTS: Global self-esteem and physical self-concept were measured using the physical self-descriptive questionnaire. Actual vs ideal body size discrepancy was established using the silhouette matching task.
RESULTS: No significant relationship was found between global self-esteem and actual-ideal body size discrepancy of children. Global physical self-concept had a moderate negative correlation (r = -0.12) with the body size discrepancy score and the discrepancy score explained very limited variance (R² = 0.015; F(1, 296) = 4.51; P < 0.05) in global physical self-concept. Three body size discrepancy groups (none, positive, and negative) were examined to see if there were any significant differences in global self-esteem, global physical self-concept, and specific dimensions of physical self-concept. A significant overall difference was found between groups for global physical self-concept (F = 3.73, P < 0.05) and the physical self-concept subscales of physical activity (F = 3.25, P < 0.05), body fat (F = 61.26, P < 0.001), and strength (F = 5.26, P < 0.01). Boys scored significantly higher than girls on global physical self-concept-especially in the sport competence, strength, and endurance subscales.
CONCLUSION: This study revealed that the actual-ideal body size discrepancy rating of Chinese children was not predictive of global physical self-concept and global self-esteem. These findings are contrary to those reported in Western children, which may mean that culture plays a role in the formation of body attitude. Copyright © 2004 Nature Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
CitationLau, P. W. C., Lee, A., Ransdell, L., Yu, C. W., & Sung, R. Y. T. (2004). The association between global self-esteem, physical self-concept and actual vs ideal body size rating in Chinese primary school children. International Journal of Obesity, 28(2), 314-319. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802520
- Global self-esteem
- Physical self-concept
- Body size rating
- Chinese body culture
- Physical activity