The Role of Sport and Physical Activity in Prevention of Inadequate Body Image Among Children
N. Ilina1
1Saint-Petersburg State University, Department of Psychology, Russia
Background: Children involved in sport or physical activity related to their body image more adequate than children not practicing physical activity. Coach usually plays an important role in the formation of body image of children involved in sport. Methods: Participants were 125 adolescents, 9-12 years: 110 athletes (55 girls, 55 boys) and 115 non-athletes (60 girls, 55 boys). The "Questionnaire measuring body image and dissatisfaction" was used. Findings: The images of the real and the ideal body in the group of athletes were almost identical. Sports protect athletes from dissatisfaction with their body. But athletes are more critical for their bodies. Girls more than boys are worried about their weight, and girls-athletes more than non athletes. In sports environment children are less teased by their peers than in the school. The formation of body image is greatly affected by parents and peers, and among athletes - by coaches. Discussion: Sport and physical activity facilitate the formation of an adequate image of the body in childhood. Regular practice of physical activity may be a method to overcome personal complexes associated with the perception of their body.