Teasing and social rejection among obese children enrolling in family-based behavioural treatment: effects on psychological adjustment and academic competencies.
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CitationInt J Obes (Lond) 2012, 36(1):35-44
AbstractThe first objective was to determine the prevalence of psychological maladjustment (emotional and behavioural problems), low academic competencies and teasing/social rejection among obese Icelandic children enrolling in a family-based behavioural treatment. A second objective was to explore the degree to which teasing/social rejection specifically contributes to children's psychological adjustment and academic competencies when controlling for other variables, including demographics, children's physical activity, parental depression and life-stress. Participants were 84 obese children (mean body mass index-standard deviation score=3.11, age range=7.52-13.61 years). Height and weight, demographics and measures of children's psychological adjustment, academic competencies, teasing/social rejection and physical activity were collected from children, parents and teachers. Parental depression and life-stress was self-reported. Over half the children exceeded cutoffs indicating concern on at least one measure of behavioural or emotional difficulties. Children endorsed significant levels of teasing/social rejection, with almost half acknowledging they were not popular with same-gender peers. Parent reports of peer problems were even higher, with over 90% of both boys and girls being rated by their parents as having significant peer difficulties. However, rates of low academic competencies as reported by teachers were not different from those of the general population. In regression analyses controlling for other variables, self-reported teasing/social rejection emerged as a significant contributor to explaining both child psychological adjustment and academic competencies. The results indicate that among obese children enrolled in family-based treatment, self-reported teasing/social rejection is quite high and it is associated with poorer psychological adjustment as well as lower academic competencies. Parent reports corroborate the presence of substantial peer difficulties, supporting the need to address peer relations with overweight children both in clinical practice and in public health interventions.
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RightsArchived with thanks to International journal of obesity (2005)
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