Obesity, Appearance, and Psychosocial Adaptation in Young African American Children


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

ObjectiveTo evaluate the contributions of weight status, skin tone, peer teasing, and parental appraisals of child's size to self-esteem and psychosocial adjustment in overweight African American children.MethodOverweight to very obese 5- to 10-year-old African American children (N=117) completed measures of self-esteem, skin tone satisfaction, peer teasing, and body size perception. Caregivers completed the Child Behavior Checklist and rated their child's body size.ResultsOverweight was associated with low appearance self-esteem, and body size dissatisfaction with low global self-worth and low appearance self-esteem in children 8 and older. Appearance self-esteem but not global self-worth was lower in girls than boys. Parental perception of child's size as heavier than average was associated with low child appearance self-esteem. Heavier children also had more parental report of behavior and psychosocial problems, but their scores were in the nonclinical range. Child skin tone dissatisfaction was associated with low global self-worth. Weight-related peer teasing was associated with low self-esteem.ConclusionsThe relationship between obesity and self-esteem in African American children depends upon age, gender, and children's experiences with teasing and parental evaluation of their size. Other factors, like skin tone satisfaction, contribute to a child's sense of self-worth.

    loading  Loading Related Articles