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Obes Res. 1994 Nov;2(6):509-15.

Child and parent psychological problems influence child weight control.

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  • 1Behavioral Medicine Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, 14260, USA.


This study used path analytic methods to assess the influence of child psychopathology measured using the Child Behavior Checklist and parent psychiatric symptoms measured using the Cornell Medical Index on changes in child percent overweight in obese 8- to 11-year-old children over 2 years (6 months of treatment, 18 months of follow-up) provided family-based behavioral intervention. Path analysis for the 0-6 month change showed the influence of mother and father psychiatric symptoms and child age on child anxiety/depression scores that in turn influenced child percent overweight change during treatment, accounting for 41% of the shared variance. The path analysis for follow-up change showed mother and father psychiatric symptoms influenced child social problems at the first stage, and child social problems influenced child percent overweight change, accounting for 68.5% of the shared variance. These results provide the first demonstration that both parent and child problems may influence the short- and long-term success of obese children who participate in family-based behavioral treatment programs.

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