A new study has revealed that physical fitness evokes a sense of psychological well-being, particularly among boys rather than girls, with much lower anxiety and depression levels or the risk of suffering from eating disorders.
Self-concept may be defined as the totality of perceptions that each person has of themselves, and this self-identity plays an important role in the psychological functioning of everyone.
To date, however, there has been no investigation into the relationship that physical self-concept has with psychological well-being or psychological unwellness.
Now, a doctoral thesis presented at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has probed the link between adolescent perception of physical qualities and their psychological well-being and unwellness.
Arantzazu Rodríguez Fernandez's findings are based on a study of 1,959 young people aged between 12 and 23 years from the Basque Country, out of which 48 were patients diagnosed with some form of eating behaviour disorders.
The study analysed the link between physical and psychological well being as a function of age, gender and physical activity.
Male adolescents, especially between the ages of 12 and 14, scored higher on these counts than their female peers, said a Basque release.
Regarding disorders stemming from looks, the greatest risk of developing an anxiety disorder is after the age of 15; for a depressive disorder the risk stage is between 12 and 17 and for anorexia or bulimia nervosa the risk period is between 18 and 23.