The stronger the internal cues, the greater the impact, whether positive or negative. For children, particularly in their pre-adolescent years (9-11) when they are anticipating and experiencing great physical changes (Craig, 1992) and are just starting to develop the ability to formulate abstract thought (Piaget, 2006), most of these internal cues are gained through their perceptions of themselves as they compare physically to their peers. As a result of the physicality of self-perception in this age group, study after study have demonstrated that participation in sports can have a positive impact on children’s self-perception just as negative self-perceptions tend to decrease a child’s willingness to participate in sports.Links between sports participation and self-perception in this age group have been demonstrated to be relatively universal, regardless of culture or nationality. For example, a study conducted on the highest and lowest quarter of students participating in a physical fitness test in comparison with their results from a self-concept scale indicated a strong correlation in attitudes among those who scored high and those who scored low. In the study (Sherrill amp. Alguin, 1989), children, both boys and girls, who scored high on the physical fitness test also scored high on the self-concept scale while children who scored low on the fitness test also scored low on the self-concept scale. While this study doesn’t necessarily support the concept that physical activity and positive self-concept are positively linked, it does indicate the possibility.Other studies have established this link, however. Marsh and Sonstroem (1995) conducted a study in which participants were asked to report the amount of physical activity they participated in on a weekly basis, reporting at the same time the intensity level of the exercise. At the same time, a physical

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