Physical Self-Concept Changes in Adults and Older Adults: Influence of Emotional Intelligence, Intrinsic Motivation and Sports Habits
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AuthorConde Pipó, Javier; Melguizo Ibáñez, Eduardo; Mariscal Arcas, Miguel; Zurita Ortega, Félix; Ubago Jiménez, José Luis; Ramírez Granizo, Irwin Andrés; González Valero, Gabriel
Physical self-conceptPsychosocial factorsOlder adultsPhysical activityLifespanAging
Conde-Pipó, J.; Melguizo-Ibáñez, E.; Mariscal-Arcas, M.; Zurita-Ortega, F.; Ubago-Jiménez, J.L.; Ramírez-Granizo, I.; González-Valero, G. Physical Self-Concept Changes in Adults and Older Adults: Influence of Emotional Intelligence, Intrinsic Motivation and Sports Habits. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1711. [https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041711]
Lifespan is increasing globally as never before, and leading to an aging world population. Thus, the challenge for society and individuals is now how to live these years in the best possible health and wellbeing. Despite the benefits of physical activity for both are well documented, older people are not active enough. Physical self-concept is correlated with high levels of sports practice, although its evolution across one’s life span is not clear. The aim of this research has been to analyze the physical self-concept in older adults and its relationship with emotional intelligence, motivation and sports habits. The sample of 520 adults aged between 41 and 80 was clustered in ranges of age; 70.96% were men (n = 369; 57.34 years (SD: 7.97)) and 29.04% women (n = 151; age = 55.56 years (SD: 9.12)). Questionnaires adapted to Spanish were used to measure physical self-concept (Physical Self-Perception Profile), motivation (Sport Motivation Scale), and emotional intelligence (Trait Meta- Mood Scale). Regarding physical self-concept, the youngest group obtained the highest mean values and the oldest group the lowest. Physical self-concept correlated positively with emotional regulation and intrinsic motivation. Initiation to sports in childhood, the practice of sports activities for more than 150’ per week, and the practice of three or more sports, were associated with a higher score of physical self-concept. The findings reveal that physical self-concept declines in older adults, slightly at first, and sharply between 71 and 80 years, being intrinsic motivation, emotional regulation, and sports habits, factors to consider in favoring a positive physical self-concept and adherence to sporting activities.