Why do some overweight children experience psychological problems The role of weight and shape concern

K.L. Allen, Susan Byrne, Eve Blair, Elizabeth Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. To examine the associations between weight status, weight and shape concern, self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and depression in children. Methods. Interviews were conducted with 7- to 13-year-old overweight (n = 89) and healthy weight (n = 118) children, using the Child Eating Disorder Examination, Self-Perception Profile for Children, Children's Body Image Scale and Child Depression Inventory. Results. Overweight children were more concerned about weight and shape than healthy weight children. After controlling for BMI z-score, children with high weight and shape concern reported lower self-esteem, higher body dissatisfaction and higher depression than children with low weight and shape concern. Concern about weight and shape mediated the relationships between BMI z-score and low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and depression. Conclusions. Results support the hypothesis that differences in weight and shape concern, within samples of overweight and healthy weight children, can account for differences in degree of psychological distress. Findings have implications for the prevention and treatment of psychological problems in overweight children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239 - 247
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Obesity
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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