OBJECTIVES: This article examines factors associated with adolescent self-concept and the impact of adolescent self-concept on psychological and physical health and health behaviour in young adulthood. DATA SOURCE: The data are from the household cross-sectional (1994/95) and longitudinal (1994/95 to 2000/01) components of Statistics Canada's National Population Health Survey. ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES: Scores on self-concept indicators in 1994/95 were compared between the sexes and age groups (12 to 15 versus 16 to 19). Multivariate analyses were used to examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between adolescent self-concept and depression, self-perceived health, physical activity and obesity, controlling for other possible confounders. MAIN RESULTS: Self-concept tends to be low among girls compared with boys. Cross-sectionally, adolescent self-concept was associated with household income and emotional support. For girls and for young adolescents, a weak self-concept in 1994/95 was related to the incidence of depression over the next six years; it was also predictive of physical inactivity among boys, and obesity among both sexes. A strong self-concept had a positive long-term effect on girls' self-perceived health.
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