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J Pediatr Psychol. 2007 Jan-Feb;32(1):80-9. Epub 2006 Apr 6.

Peer victimization, psychosocial adjustment, and physical activity in overweight and at-risk-for-overweight youth.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Box 100234, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA.



To examine the relationship between peer victimization and child and parent reports of psychosocial adjustment and physical activity in a clinical sample of at-risk-for-overweight and overweight children and adolescents.


The Schwartz Peer Victimization Scale, Children's Depression Inventory-Short Form, Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children, Social Physique Anxiety Scale, PACE+ Adolescent Physical Activity Measure, and Asher Loneliness Scale were administered to 92 children and adolescents (54 females) aged 8-18 years. The youth's parent/guardian completed the Child Behavior Checklist.


Peer victimization was positively related to child-reported depression, anxiety, social physique anxiety, and loneliness, and parent-reported internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Peer victimization was negatively related to physical activity. Depressive symptoms and loneliness mediated the relations between peer victimization and physical activity.


Recognition of the magnitude of the problem and the means of evaluating for peer victimization is important for clinicians who work with overweight youth. Assessing peer experiences may assist in understanding rates of physical activity and/or past nonadherence to clinician recommendations.

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