Physical Activity and Self-Perceptions Among Adults

Authored by: Peter R. E. Crocker , Carolyn E. McEwen , Amber D. Mosewich

Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity and Mental Health

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782999
eBook ISBN: 9780203132678
Adobe ISBN: 9781136477805


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For over a century, theorists have recognized that self-processes are central in understanding human adaptation (Bandura, 1997; Baumeister, 1987; Harter, 1999; James, 1890). Self-processes are involved in guiding and motivating behavior, attention and self-regulation, influencing appraisals and emotion, as well as helping individuals buffer the effects of negative events (see Guindon, 2010; Leary & Tangney, 2003). The self develops through feedback, and person and social comparison processes, processes which are heavily influenced by the person's interactions with the world and by social relationships, shared cultural experiences, and self-reflexivity (our ability to think about and attend to our self; Harter, 1999; Stets & Burke, 2003). Aspects of self, such as self-esteem, are thought to be key markers of well-being. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that researchers are intrigued by the potential causal relationship between physical activity and self-processes (see Crocker, Kowalski, & Hadd, 2008; Fox, 2000).

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