Sex Roles

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 47-58

First online:

Sports Participation and Self-Esteem: Variations as a Function of Gender and Gender Role Orientation

  • Anne BowkerAffiliated withCarleton University
  • , Shannon GadboisAffiliated withBrandon University Email author 
  • , Becki CornockAffiliated withUniversity of Windsor

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The purpose of this study was to examine the role of gender, sports participation, and gender orientation in predicting individuals' domain-specific and global self-esteem. A sample of 100 Grade 11 students completed measures of self-perception, body image, gender orientation, and sports participation. The results showed that although boys reported greater satisfaction with weight and appearance, there were no gender differences in general self-worth. In addition, more feminine individuals who participated in competitive sports reported lower levels of perceived athletic competence and global self-worth, but reported higher self-esteem when they participated in more noncompetitive sports. Although sports participation does predict self-esteem, participants' gender orientation and the type of sports in which they participate are moderating factors.

self-esteem body image sports gender gender role orientation