The Effects of Fitness Testing on Social Physique Anxiety and Physical Self-Perceptions.

Joseph E. Prusak III, James Robert Whitehead, Ronald H. Brinkert, Robert C Eklund
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This was a study of the effects of participation in fitness testing on physical self-esteem and social physique anxiety.  All participants (N = 65) initially completed the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS) and the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP).  Those who had been randomly assigned to an experimental group (EXP) were then fitness tested, while those assigned to a control group (CON) were told that their tests would be scheduled later.  After EXP members’ fitness tests were finished and interpreted, all EXP and CON participants completed the SPAS and PSPP again.  Then, the CON members’ fitness tests were conducted and interpreted.  Before testing, all participants were asked to predict their fitness ratings.  Most predictions were accurate (58% of the total over the five tests), but when inaccurate, participants received “good news” significantly more often than “bad news” (33% vs. 9% overall).  There were no experimental effects on the SPAS or on the five PSPP scales, except that males scored higher than females on the general physical self-worth subscale.  Also, there were no differences between the PSPP or SPAS scores of those participants who received “good news” compared with those who received “bad news” from their fitness score interpretations.  Since participants’ scores on SPAS and PSPP were typical of those reported in the literature, and because there were no effects from fitness testing, the results support the premise that fitness tests can be used for curricular purposes without causing adverse effects on physical self-esteem or social physique anxiety.


: Fitness tests, physical self-perceptions, self-worth, social physique anxiety, fitness education

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