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Objectives: The purposes of this study were to investigate: (1) whether three subscale scores (i.e.,body fat, appearance, and strength) and the global physical self-concept and global self-concept scores of the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) are applicable to Chinese children; (2) whether there is a gender difference in these relationships; and (3) whether global physical self-concept acts as a mediator of global self-concept.

Method: 320 Chinese children aged 7-12 years were recruited. The PSDQ was used to assess two global dimensions (global physical self-concept and global self-concept) and three specific dimensions (body fat, appearance, and strength) of self-worth. The children’s version of the silhouette matching task (SMT) was adopted from Marsh and Roche (1996) to measure children’s body perception.

Results: The factor structure of the modified PSDQ model was applicable in young Chinese children, regardless of their gender. Results of structural equation model (SEM) indicated that the model was acceptable. The structural paths of the model and the mediating effect of global physical self-concept on global self-concept were discussed.

Conclusion: The present study indicates that the physical self is an increasingly important correlate of self-esteem. It is particularly important relative to perceived self-presentation and social acceptance. Therefore, it is important to consider the impact of the physical self-concept on global self-concept from both cultural and worldwide perspectives.


Published title is: A Structural Equation Model of the Relationship Between Body Perception and Self-esteem: Global Physical Self-concept as the Mediator

Copyright Statement

This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. © 2009, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License ( The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Psychology of Sport and Exercise, doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2007.07.005