Effects of home- and university-based programs on physical self-perception in mothers and daughters

Women Health. 2004;39(2):63-81. doi: 10.1300/J013v39n02_05.


The primary purpose of this study was to compare two mother-daughter interventions designed to increase fitness and activity and improve physical self-perception (PSP).A secondary purpose was to test two of the proposed mechanisms for using physical activity to enhance PSP. Twenty mother-daughter pairs (n = 40) were randomly assigned to a university-based (UB) or home-based (HB) group. Initially, both groups received classroom training designed to improve PSP. Then, the UB group met three times per week, whereas the HB group received information concerning home-based activities. The Fitnessgram activity questionnaire and fitness test battery were used to measure physical activity and fitness level. The Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP) was used to detect changes in PSP. Separate 2 (group) x 2 (age) x 2 (time) ANOVAs with repeated measures on the last factor were conducted to examine changes in PSP, physical activity, and fitness. Correlations between physical activity, fitness, and PSP were examined to test the two mechanisms. Perceived sports competence and body attractiveness improved in UB and HB mothers and daughters (p =.002 and.005, respectively). UB and HB mothers and daughters increased their participation in aerobic (p =.000 and.015), muscular strength (p =.001 and.001), and flexibility (p =.000 and.000) activities. Support was not provided for the proposed mechanisms for the relationship between physical activity and PSP. These interventions demonstrate the potential to foster positive short-term changes in PSP and physical activity in mothers and daughters. More research is needed to test mechanisms explaining the relationship between activity and PSP.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nuclear Family / psychology*
  • Physical Fitness / psychology*
  • Program Development
  • Self Concept*
  • Universities*