Self-esteem and physical self-concept in adolescents on an emergency psychiatric unit

J. Simons, P. Adriaenssens, H. Delbroek, Μ. Probst


Self-esteem is a widely examined concept in the area of psychiatric disorders, less attention was given to the physical self-concept, till now. The purpose of this study was to evaluate self-esteem and the physical self-concept in adolescents with psychiatric disorders. The scores the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) of adolescents on an urgent psychiatric unit (N = 208) were compared with the results of a matched group of non-clinical adolescents (N = 208) by means of MANOVA’s. The Physical Self-Description Questionnaire is a reliable instrument as well in the clinical as in the non-clinical group.  Self-esteem and Physical self-concept were lower in the clinical than in the non-clinical group. Girls (N = 107) in general scored lower than boys (N = 101) in both groups. The physical self-concept and the underlying specific motor competences seem to be excellent aspects to distinguish between different diagnostic categories. But they also suggest that physical activity could be of importance for mental health.


Self-esteem, Self-concept Physical self-concept, Psychiatric disorders, Adolescents sensitivity

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