chapter  5
20 Pages

The effects of exercise on self-perceptions and self-esteem

ByKENNETH R. FOX

Volumes of research have been generated on the topic of self-esteem and self-concept to the point where it is difficult to find a psychological construct that has attracted more academic attention. Self-esteem is also one of the few psychological terms that has acquired a meaning among the general public. It regularly crops up in informal conversations, usually in the context of explaining particular mental states and behaviours. Reference to self-esteem also features in formal policy documents of a range of organisations and institutions. The National Curriculum for schools in England and Wales, for example, places enhancement of selfesteem as a major curricular goal. Corporations include improvement in mental well-being and self-esteem as an important target for the welfare of their workforce. Health interventions, particularly programmes to facilitate rehabilitation from substance abuse, acute and chronic injury and disease, often focus on improved self-esteem as a primary objective. More recently, self-esteem has been considered as an important aspect of quality of life and mental well-being and as such has been considered as a possible target for public health campaigns.