Self-perception of children participating in different organized physical activity programs
The aim of this study was to investigate potential self-perception differences in children who participate in different organized PA programs. For that purpose, the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (PSPCSA) was administered to 191 children (87 boys; 104 girls), aged 5 – 9 years (Μ= 7.1, SD= 0.7). Moreover, participants’ anthropometric and demographic data were also gathered. For data analysis, children were classified into three PA groups, according to the PA program they were participating in: (a) team sports, (b) individual sports, and (c) dance. (M)ANCOVA procedures were computed on participants’ scores to examine potential differences among PA groups and genders, using age and BMI as covariates. The results revealed that the participants presented high PSPCSA scores, irrespectively of their gender and PA program they participated in. Children’s participation in PA seems to associate with high positive selfperception scores. Organized PA clubs and children’s coaches should be informed about the important relationship between PA and self- perception in order for this “window of opportunity” of young children’s high positive self-perception level to be optimally exploit for their health’s benefit.