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Dev Psychol. 2002 Sep;38(5):735-48.

Processes linking weight status and self-concept among girls from ages 5 to 7 years.


This study assessed the relationship between girls' weight status and self-concept and examined peer teasing and parent criticism as potential mediators of this relationship. Data were collected for 182 girls and their parents when the girls were 5 and 7 years old. At each age, girls' body mass index, self-concept, peer weight-related teasing (child report), and parents' criticism of girls' weight status (spouse report) were assessed. At ages 5 and 7, girls who were more overweight reported lower self-concept. Peer teasing and parent criticism mediated the relationship between weight status and self-concept at age 7, but not at age 5. In addition, the duration and timing of parent criticism across ages 5 and 7 mediated the association between girls' weight status at age 5 and perceived peer acceptance at age 7.

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