It is known that participation in sports positively affects the physical and mental development of individuals, socializes them, gains self-confidence and benefits mental health. The fact that some people who do not participate in sports activities and lead a sedentary life can cause low self-esteem along with many health problems. People with low self-esteem are indifferent to social activities, constantly demean themselves and avoid taking responsibility. This study aims to analyze the self-esteem levels of university students who do and do not do sports. This study, which was conducted to determine the self-esteem levels of university students who do and do not do sports, is a cross-sectional study in the form of a descriptive survey model. The population of the research consists of the students of İnönü University in the 2021-2022 academic year while the sample group consists of 461 students from İnönü University selected by random sampling method. The ‘two-dimensional self-esteem scale (self-love/self-efficacy)’ developed by Tafarodi & Swan (2001) and adapted into Turkish by Doğan (2011) was used in the study. The Cronbach's Alpha value of the scale was determined as .94, and the sub-dimensions of the Cronbach's alpha values of the of the scale were determined as .91 for 'self-love' and .87 for 'self-efficacy'. In the study, t-test was used for independent groups in paired comparisons, one-way Anova test for multiple comparisons, and Tukey test was performed as post-hoc test in order to determine between which groups the difference was in multiple comparisons. Significance level was adopted as α=0.05 in tests. In the study, the difference between the self-esteem results of university students according to the variables of gender and family income was not found statistically significant. The difference between the self-esteem results of university students according to the variables of age and state of doing sports was found to be statistically significant. It has been concluded that the gender and family income of the university students participating in this study are not an important factor on self-esteem, while the variable of age and doing sports is an important factor on self-esteem. We can say that as a result of directing sedentary university students to sports activities, their self-esteem will increase, negative thoughts about themselves will disappear, and there will be significant improvements in their ability to cope with difficulties.
Sports, self, self-esteem, university students.