Relations between Health Perception and Physical Self-Concept in Adolescents

Pedro Cantero Castrillo1, M de los Ángeles Fernández Villarino2, M Belén Toja Reboredo1, Miguel Ángel González Valeiro1, *
1 Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Education. University of A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain
2 Faculty of Education and Sport Sciences. University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain

© 2020 Castrillo et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Physical and Sports Education., Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical Education., Avd. Che Guevara, 121. Bastiagueiro, Oleiros., 15179, A Coruña. Spain; E-mail:



Self-rated health is influenced by personal characteristics, such as gender and age. Similarly, it seems that physical self-concept can influence this perception, being positively related to healthy habits and quality of life. Adolescence is a sensitive stage in establishing the physical self-concept as well as in health-related behaviours. Therefore, it is necessary to study these relationships since the behaviours established at these ages will have a lasting impact on life.


The aim of this study was to analyse the relation between physical self-concept and self-rated health in adolescents.


A sample of 1697 adolescents (824 boys; 48.5% and 873 girls; 51.5%), aged between 12 and 16 years old (14.2 ±1.0) participated in the study. For data collection, a questionnaire was used. The measured variables were perception of health, physical self-concept and gender. A chi-square test was used to analyse the data and evaluate the association between the variables, and Cramer´s V was used to quantify the degree of association. A Classification and Regression Tree (CART) evaluation was applied to discover the influence of the variables that have an effect on the perception of health.


The results show that boys perceive to have better health and greater physical self-concept than girls. Similarly, a positive relationship has been found between the health´s perception in both genders and the physical self-concept, in each of its subdomains.


A positive relationship has been found between health perception and physical self-concept. Therefore, an increase in the physical self-concept is presented as an opportunity to improve health self-perception, which can positively affect the health of young people.

Keywords: Physical Education, Physical activity, Health perception, Physical self-concept, Adolescents, Healthy lifestyle.