SOCIAL COMPARISON IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION: AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO FRAMES OF REFERENCE AND ENGAGEMENT, DISAFFECTION, AND PHYSICAL SELF-CONCEPT
Article first published online: 25 OCT 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Psychology in the Schools
Volume 50, Issue 10, pages 1060–1072, December 2013
How to Cite
Barnes, J. S. and Spray, C. M. (2013), SOCIAL COMPARISON IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION: AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO FRAMES OF REFERENCE AND ENGAGEMENT, DISAFFECTION, AND PHYSICAL SELF-CONCEPT. Psychol. Schs., 50: 1060–1072. doi: 10.1002/pits.21726
- Issue published online: 26 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 25 OCT 2013
Drawing from theory and research into social comparison processes, the present study sought to determine children's motives for comparison in addition to the coexistence of class and individual comparisons in school physical education. The main and interactive effects of these types of comparisons were examined in relation to pupils’ physical self-concept, as well as self-reported behavioral engagement and disaffection in class. In total, 545 children (Mage = 13.89 years, SD = 1.57 years) from two schools in England completed the questionnaire. Moderated hierarchical regression analysis demonstrated that the higher a child's perception of his or her ability was compared with his or her classmates, the greater the level of engagement and physical self-concept and the lower the level of disaffection. Interaction analysis showed that when perceived ability with reference to the class was low, a downward comparison with an individual enhanced engagement, but this was not the case when perceived ability was high. Findings suggest that further research into social comparison processes in this setting is warranted.