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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 15, 2015

Physical self-esteem and personality traits in Swedish physically inactive female high school students: an intervention study

Yvonne Kahlin EMAIL logo , Suzanne Werner , Gunnar Edman , Anders Raustorp and Marie Alricsson



Physical activity provides fundamental health benefits and plays a positive role in physical well-being. The aim of this present study was to investigate whether a 6-month physical activity program could influence physical self-esteem and frequency of physical activity in physically inactive female high school students in short- and long-term periods and whether personality traits were related to physical activity behaviour and compliance with the program.


The study was a cluster-randomised controlled intervention study including 104 physically inactive female high school students aged 16–19 years, 60 females in an intervention group and 44 females in a control group. The intervention group exercised at sport centres at least once per week during a 6-month period. Questionnaires were used for evaluation.


At a 6-month follow up, the intervention group improved physical self-perception in all subdomains and significantly improved physical condition, physical self-worth and self-related health compared to the control group. At 1-year follow up, 25 females out of 53 females were still physically active, and all ratings remained almost the same as at the 6-month follow up. There were no particular personality traits that were dominant in the groups.


A 6-month physical activity program can positively influence physical self-esteem and the frequency of physical activity, both from a short- and long-term perspective.

Corresponding author: Yvonne Kahlin, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Neurobiology, Karolinska Institutet, SE-141 83 Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden, Phone: +46 852488839, E-mail:


This study was financially supported by grants from The Swedish Sport Confederation.


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Received: 2015-2-25
Accepted: 2015-5-6
Published Online: 2015-8-15
Published in Print: 2016-11-1

©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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