Child Indicators Research

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 565–580 | Cite as

The Impact of Children’s Physical Fitness on Peer Relations and Self-Esteem in School Settings

  • Hsin-Chung ChenEmail author


The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships between children’s physical fitness (PF), peer relations, and self-esteem. The present study used new and accurate research tools, such as the “peer nominations scale 4.0,” the modified self-esteem scale and the type of fitness component tests, for the purpose of the current study. Further, the current study performed cluster sampling to collect data. There were 550 completed surveys and PF assessments of sixth grade students, with a mean age of 11.84 years (SD = 0.52), attending 20 schools in Taipei. Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation, and structural equation modeling (SEM) were conducted to analyze the data. The current study found that there exist a medium correlation between PF and both peer relations and self-esteem individually. Moreover, after conducting SEM, the proposed model on children’s PF development was supported. Which means, children’s PF, especially cardio-respiratory endurance and muscular strength, have most striking influences on their peer relations and self-esteem respectively. Finally, despite some children possessing negative self-esteem or are classified into social rejected groups, the results clarified that if children’s PF is stepped up, their peer relations are able to be reformed and self-esteem could be mended. The current study suggested that children should regularly participate in exercises, because PF could improve development of peer relations and self-esteem. In addition, PF instructors might provide suitable levels or gradually advance fitness intensity to participants in PF principles which can increase and build up children’s peer relations, self-esteem and healthy lifestyle.


Physical fitness Peer relationship Peer nominations scale Structural equation modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical EducationUniversity of TaipeiTaipeiRepublic of China

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