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One hundred and twenty seven male and female elementary school, high school, and university students who were classified as high or low exercisers completed questionnaires that measured global self-esteem, body satisfaction, and body build.
The literature on self-talk is primarily related to its use and effect on athletic performance (Hardy & Hall, 2005). For all participants combined, high exercisers reported greater self-esteem than low exercisers, showing that the positive relationship between exercise activity and self-esteem is robust across sex and age. Self-esteem has been defined as the “level of global regard one has for the self” (Harter, 1993), or how well a person “prizes, values, approves, or likes” him or herself (Blascovich & Tomaka, 1991).
Indeed, body satisfaction might mediate any relationship between exercise activity and self-esteem. A demographics questionnaire asked questions about age, sex, height, weight, desired weight, and exercise activity. This is not ideal, but we are confident that the two groups were clearly different in their amounts of exercise activity and that the high group met requirements demanded by other researchers.
People who already have higher self-esteem for other reasons may be more motivated to exercise compared to those who have lower self-esteem. It might be useful to do so because, in a study of female adolescents involving sport participation, exercise participation, body dissatisfaction, and self-esteem, Tiggemann (2001) found that only sport participation predicted body dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, a questionnaire flaw meant that we could not take full advantage of the information that was provided.
Dagrou, Gauvin, and Halliwell (1992) studied the effect of positive, negative, and neutral self-talk on dart throwing performance. The first purpose of the present study, therefore, was to examine the relationship between belief in self-talk and performance.
The Belief in Self-Talk Questionnaire (BSQ) was developed for this study to assess participants’ belief in the effectiveness of self-talk.
Participants read and signed the informed consent sheet and completed a brief demographic questionnaire. Because very few participants indicated they experienced only negative self-talk (n = 6), the participants were separated into two groups.
The findings suggested that the type of self-talk an individual engages in (positive or negative) was more important than his or her belief in self-talk. For example, athletes could be taught how to use positive self-monitoring during the short breaks that occur in competition. Participants indicating they had used only positive self-talk typically identified two or three types of self-talk. That is, exercise might have physical effects that lead to greater body satisfaction which in turn leads to greater self-esteem. Sports participation and self esteem: Variations as a function of gender and gender role orientation.
Self-esteem and sex roles among male and female high school students: Their relationship to physical activity. Body image dissatisfaction: Gender differences in eating attitudes, self-esteem, and reasons for exercise. The impact of adolescent girls’ life concerns and leisure activities on body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, and self-esteem.
The effect of exercise on body satisfaction and self-esteem as a function of gender and age. Self-talk has been defined as “a multidimensional phenomenon concerned with athletes’ verbalizations that are addressed to themselves” (Hardy, Hall, & Hardy, 2005, p.
Results indicated that participants in the positive self-talk group outperformed those in the negative and neutral self-talk groups. Experiment 2 results indicated that the group told to use instructional self-talk performed better than both the group instructed to use motivational self-talk and the control group. Due to the scarcity of empirical evidence, it was hypothesized that there would be no relationship between belief in self-talk and performance.

Following the test, participants completed the Belief in Self-Talk Questionnaire and the Type of Self-Talk Questionnaire.
Positive self-monitoring helps individuals focus on the positive aspects of their performance, which in turn creates more positive self-talk (Kirschenbaum, 1997). Effets du langage positif, negatif, et neutre sur la performance motrice [Effects of positive, negative, and neutral self-talk on motor performance].
Enhancing performance and skill acquisition in novice basketball players with instructional self-talk. However, in contrast to the findings for self-esteem, these results have only been obtained with male and female adolescents and adults; children have not been investigated. When the difference in self-esteem scores was converted to the standardized effect size d, it was 0.51, which is a medium effect (Cohen, 1977).
It might also examine whether exercise activity has different relationships to different dimensions of body-cathexis and to different dimensions of self-esteem.
Self esteem as a function of sex of participant and body satisfaction in elementary school, high school, and university students.
The first purpose was to examine the relationship between one’s belief in self-talk and performance.
Using a post-match questionnaire consisting of one item, they found that competitive junior tennis players who believed in their self-talk performed better than nonbelievers.
A post-experimental manipulation check revealed that the instructional group believed their self-talk statements were significantly more helpful than the motivational group. A second purpose was to examine the influence of positive and negative self-talk on performance. Four of the items asked respondents to indicate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with statements regarding belief in positive self-talk to enhance performance and four items examined belief in negative self-talk to harm performance (see Appendix A). Thus, while initial supportive evidence has been provided, it is recommended that future research continue to examine methods by which belief in self-talk is assessed.
For practical relevance, the findings supported recommendations that techniques designed to produce positive self-talk should be an integral part of performance enhancing psychological skills training programs. Effect of association, dissociation, and positive self-talk strategies on endurance performance.
For body image, the ANOVA was run with self-esteem and cathexis as covariates, but the results were the same as above – no significant effects of exercise. Thus, despite the concerns over the measurement of exercise activity, our findings consolidate the generality of the relationship between exercise activity and self-esteem, particularly because the groups were compared under standardized test conditions. Physical activity, self esteem, and self-efficacy relationships in older adults: A randomized controlled trial. The second purpose was to examine the influence of positive and negative self-talk on performance. The type of self-talk that participants used before and during performance was assessed using a 7 item post-experimental questionnaire developed for this study.
The mode and median number of self-talk types experienced was 3 with the majority of participants (82%) using 2 - 4 different types of self-talk. The prediction that there would be a significant difference between the performance scores for the type of self-talk groups was supported. 1995) have focused almost exclusively on differences between positive, neutral, and negative self-talk. Surprisingly, focus self-talk was also the most frequently cited type identified by this group (72%). A final alternative explanation could be that belief in self-talk simply does not impact motor performance. An exception to this pattern is a study by Tiggemann and Williamson (2000), who found that the relationship between exercise activity and self-esteem was positive for men, but not significant for women and even negative for young women under 21. The ANOVA for weight difference was run the exact same way (no covariates) as the previous univariate analysis, because this variable was not correlated with self-esteem, body-cathexis, or body image.

Of particular interest, they demonstrate that the positive relationship between exercise activity and self-esteem appeared in the youngest group, who were about 11 years of age. Given this evidence of a causal relationship between exercise and self-esteem, it is quite possible that the present association has a similar direction. Undergraduate students (N = 125) performed a stabilometer balance task and then completed two questionnaires. Finally, Weinberg, Smith, Jackson, and Gould (1984) found that positive self-talk strategies increased performance on a muscular endurance task. In a descriptive study of 291 athletes, Hardy, Hall, and Hardy (2004) also found that skilled athletes reported a greater belief that self-talk impacts their performance than did less skilled athletes.
The focus category of self-talk was reported most often (n = 106, 85%), followed by instructional (n = 81, 65%), motivational (n = 62, 50%), calming (n = 61, 49%), performance worry (n = 32, 26%), self-doubts (n = 19, 15%), and frustration (n = 17, 14%).
Finally, techniques such as thought stopping or changing negative self-talk to positive self-talk may also be used to improve self-talk for optimal performance execution (Weinberg & Gould, 2003). However, a nearly equal percentage experienced performance worry (70%) with the other two types of negative self-talk assessed in this study being selected by less than half of the participants (self doubts, 41% and frustration, 37%).
In addition, another recent study found no significant relationship between exercise and global self-esteem for senior high school students (Bowker, Gadbois, & Cornock, 2003).
Finally, although most research has considered self-esteem as a global concept, it has been argued that it should be decomposed into two dimensions: self-competence and self-liking, which respectively correspond to the instrumental and the intrinsic values of the self (Tafarodi & Milne, 2002). One questionnaire assessed the type of self-talk used and the other assessed belief in self-talk. Although not empirically examined due to limited numbers, a cursory examination of the results also showed there was approximately one-second difference between each of the three groups with the more positive group having the best performance followed by the mixed and negative self-talk groups.
The variety and frequency of self-talk types experienced by participants in this study supported Hardy et al.’s (2005) emphasis on examining both the content and function of self-talk in athletes.
The relationship between observable self-talk and competitive junior tennis players' match performances. In view of these somewhat conflicting findings, we re-examined the relationship between exercise and self-esteem.
Given that self-competence reflects “abilities, skills, and talents” (Tafordi & Milne, 2002), it might be more strongly associated with exercise activity than self-liking. Come on, let’s go!”), and focus (“Don’t think about anything, just concentrate”) were operationally considered positive while self-talk categorized as performance worry (“This is too hard”), self doubts in ability (“I can’t do this”), and frustration (“This makes me mad”) were considered negative (see Appendix B). Thus, it would appear that the broader classifications of positive and negative self-talk need to be delineated in future research.
Another plausible explanation involves the small number of participants experiencing only negative self-talk. Results supported previous literature indicating that techniques designed to produce positive self-talk should be included in psychological skills training programs. Individuals marking only positive self-talk items were operationally classified as the positive self-talk group whereas individuals selecting only negative self-talk items were considered part of the negative self-talk group. The use of a controlled stabilometer task in a laboratory setting may have limited the number of participants who generated predominantly negative self-talk.
Finally, individuals marking at least one positive and one negative type of self-talk were classified as using mixed self-talk. Thus, the influence of moderating variables on self-talk needs to be further addressed in other more natural competitive settings.

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