Sex Roles

, Volume 56, Issue 9–10, pp 675–689 | Cite as

Gender Differences in the Relationships Between Extracurricular Activities Participation, Self-description, and Domain-specific and General Self-esteem

  • Shannon Gadbois
  • Anne Bowker
Original Article


Fifty-four male and 80 female Grade 11 students participated in this study of the relationship between extracurricular activities participation and self-description and general and physical self-esteem. We hypothesized that boys would have more positive physical self-perceptions than girls, but that the sexes would not differ on general self-esteem, and that greater participation in extracurricular activities would be related to greater general self-esteem, but that physical self-esteem would be particularly associated with athletic participation. All participants completed a series of measures of physical and general self-esteem as well as self-description (traditionally masculine and feminine attributes) and extracurricular activities participation. The results showed that, as expected, boys and girls did not differ in general self-esteem despite the fact that boys were more satisfied and reported more positive physical self-perceptions. Correlations across all participants showed that greater participation in athletics was associated with greater body satisfaction, and a more masculine self-description was associated with higher self-esteem. In addition, regression analyses mirrored the correlations and showed that greater general self-esteem was associated with more years of competitive athletics participation for boys and with more years of non-athletic activities participation for girls.


General and physical self-esteem Extracurricular activities Gender Masculinity Femininity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrandon UniversityBrandonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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