Objective To examine gender and ethnic differences in psychosocial functioning among 100 (78% African American and 59% girls) treatment-seeking overweight 11- to 18-year-old adolescents. Self-esteem was examined as a potential mediator of the association between weight-related teasing and quality of life (QOL). Methods Adolescents completed measures evaluating self-esteem, dietary habits, teasing, and QOL. Results Few racial or gender differences were found. Mean QOL was similar to that reported in another study examining treatment-seeking overweight adolescents and substantially lower than what has been reported for non-treatment-seeking overweight adolescents. Self-esteem partially mediated the association between teasing and QOL. Conclusions Severely overweight adolescents of both genders and diverse ethnicities face significant stigmatization and manifest poor overall psychosocial functioning, which is negatively associated with QOL. Furthermore, self-esteem appears to partially mediate the negative relationship between teasing and QOL.
Journal of Pediatric Psychology – Oxford University Press
Published: Jul 3, 2006
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