Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 115–122 | Cite as

Assessment of the perception of physical competence in Brazilian adolescents of different nutritional status

  • Alexandro Andrade
  • Thiago Sousa Matias
  • Fábio Hech DominskiEmail author
  • Kalebe Paiva Silva
Original Article



Considering the increase in the prevalence of overweight and obese adolescents, this study aimed to analyze the perception of physical competence in Brazilian adolescents of different nutritional status.


A population-based cross-sectional study was performed and included 2.757 (15 ± 4 years-old) adolescent students (1.302 boys, 1.455 girls) from south of Brazil. Strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance questions were used to evaluate the perception of physical competence. To evaluate nutritional status, body mass index (BMI) was used.


The prevalence of overweight and obesity in adolescents was 21.2%, with 25.4% for boys and 17.5% for girls. Girls with lower perception of aerobic endurance were more likely to be overweight/obese. Boys with a poor perception of flexibility were about 10 times more likely to be overweight/obese. Adolescents with a weak and moderate perception of strength were less likely to be overweight/obese.


We concluded that perception of physical competence differs depending on the nutritional status of adolescents. Lower perceptions of aerobic endurance and flexibility favor the development of overweight and obese adolescents. However, greater perception of strength competence mostly appears in overweight/obese adolescents.


Nutritional status Adolescent Muscle strength Physical endurance Physical competence 



This study was supported by the Higher Education Personnel Improvement Coordination (CAPES), Public notice (no. 03/2015), through masters scholarship and the authors thank FAPESC (Research and Innovation Support Foundation of the State of Santa Catarina) for financial support through research (Project no. 2287/PAP 04/2014).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval was obtained from Santa Catarina State University (approval number 502.531).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Center of Health and Sport ScienceSanta Catarina State UniversityFlorianópolisBrazil
  2. 2.Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)FlorianópolisBrazil

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