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The effects of an Outward Bound course on the physical self-concept of participants

  • Mayes, Gayle
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1997
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


This study presents a theory and model of self-concept and physical-self-concept as a framework for the project. The literature review discusses results of research on the impact of physical and sports-related activities upon the physical selfconcept, along with existing research on the effects of the Outward Bound intervention upon physical self-concept. The study used the Richards Physical Self-Concept Scale to measure the effects of a twenty-six day Outward Bound course upon the physical self-concept of participants. The seven subdomains of Action, Appearance, Body Build, Health, Physical Ability, Strength, and Satisfaction were scored on a Likert Scale by 96 participants, and an overall (Total) Physical Self-Concept score was calculated. Participants completed the questionnaire one month prior to day one, and on the first and last days of the course. An Instructor-As-Observer Scale was also used to assess the changes in observed fitness and physical ability. Positive changes occurred in both of these areas as a result of the Outward Bound intervention. Results from the Richards Scale showed that the Total Physical Self-Concept Score for the group sample was significantly enhanced as a result of the intervention (F=56). Both male and female participants experienced a positive change in Total Physical Self-Concept to the same degree. The Body Build Scale demonstrated the greatest enhancement for both sexes (F=94.343), followed by the Appearance (F=55.631 ), Strength (F=35.762),and Physical Ability Scales (F=35.624. The Health and Satisfaction Scales demonstrated less positive effects than the other sub-scales. The Outward Bound intervention appeared to be a powerful and effective means of enhancing the Total Physical SelfConcept and its subdomains in the short term.

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