The effect of group counseling and physical fitness programs on self-esteem and cardiovascular fitness
Neal, Robert Bryson
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This study was undertaken to examine the relationship between physical fitness and self-esteem and to investigate the effect of different treatments on these variables. The research to date which has attempted to determine the relationship between physical fitness and self-esteem is contradictory and inconclusive. The justification for this study revolves around the question of how can health educators better realize the goal of encouraging people to lead more healthful life styles. It can be argued that the major purpose of health education is to encourage youngsters to care enough about themselves to care for themselves. Many educators think that the variables of self-esteem and physical fitness are closely related. The person with a high sense of worth may be likely to have a vitality which will manifest itself a high level of fitness. He may also be more likely to put forth the effort required to maintain high fitness levels. It is also possible that an increase in level of fitness will bring a concomitant increase in self-esteem. It is to determine the validity of this last statement that this study was undertaken. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of group counseling and cardiovascular fitness programs on self-esteem and physical fitness. The subjects who participated in this study were ninth grade boys. There were four groups of students with fifteen students in each group. The four treatments were: (1) the cardiovascular fitness group, (2) the counseling group, (3) the cardiovascular fitness and counseling group, (4) the control group. The rationale underlying the inclusion of group counseling and physical education programs was that an integrated program would increase motivation. Much of the content of the group counseling program dealt with the importance of setting goals and working towards their attainment. The duration of the program was ten weeks. All students were given a pretest and a posttest on self-esteem and physical fitness. The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory was used to measure self-esteem. The Cooper Twelve Minute Run Walk Test was used to assess cardiovascular fitness. The study was concerned with two hypotheses, each statistically analyzed through the technique of analysis of covariance. Hypothesis I There will be no significant differences in the level of cardiovascular fitness between the cardiovascular fitness group, the counseling group, the cardiovascular fitness and counseling group and the control group and the control group after the experimental period. A significant difference at the .05 level or better occurred between: 1. The cardiovascular fitness group and the control group 2. The cardiovascular fitness and counseling group and the control group. Hypotheses II There will be no significant differences in self-esteem between the cardiovascular fitness group, the counseling group the cardiovascular fitness and counseling group and the control group after the experimental period. Test scores showed no significant differences in self-esteem. Summary The results of this study indicated that an integrated program of counseling and physical education was the most effective program in improving cardiovascular fitness. It was also demonstrated that there were no changes in self-esteem as the result of the program.
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