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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2007 Feb;75(1):181-6.

Correlates of psychosocial well-being among overweight adolescents: the role of the family.

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  • 1School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


An ethnically diverse sample of at-risk-for-overweight and overweight youths (body mass index greater than the 85th percentile for age and gender; n = 667 male participants, and n = 684 female participants) completed a school-based survey measuring family variables (connectedness, mealtime environment, and weight commentary), psychosocial well-being (depressed mood, body satisfaction, and self-esteem), and unhealthy weight-control behaviors; all measures were assessed concurrently. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that measures of general family connectedness, priority of family meals, and positive mealtime environment were significantly positively associated with psychological well-being and inversely associated with depressive symptoms and unhealthy weight-control behaviors. Familial weight commentary (i.e., weight-based teasing and parental encouragement to diet) was associated with many indicators of poor psychological health. The authors conclude that greater psychosocial well-being and fewer unhealthy weight-control behaviors are associated with making family time at meals a priority, creating a positive mealtime atmosphere, and refraining from weight commentary.

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