Factors associated with young children’s self-perceived physical competence and self-reported physical activity.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with self-reported physical activity (PA), self-perceived physical fitness and competence in physical education (PE) among young children. The study included physical tests, anthropometric measures and a questionnaire. The study group comprised 206 children (114 boys and 92 girls, aged 8–12 years). Positive Odds Ratio was used in the logistic regression analyses. High level of self-reported PA was associated with membership of sport clubs and high self-perceived physical fitness. Variables associated with high self-perceived competence in PE were low age, high physical performance, living with both parents, high self-perceived physical fitness, male gender and enjoying PE. Variables associated with high self-perceived physical fitness were low age, high performance in endurance running, high self-reported PA, positive self-perceived body function and high self-perceived competence in PE. Correlations between children's self-perceived competence in PE and actual measured physical performance, between the self-perceived fitness and endurance performance and between self-reported PA and physical performance could be seen as a form of concurrent validity. One implication of the study for practitioners might be that children's own perceptions of their physical competence and activity levels could be used to roughly identify groups of children who are at risk of remaining physically inactive and therefore more prone to be unhealthy.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-136
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch