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Int J Eat Disord. 1994 Mar;15(2):151-8.

Child and parent factors that influence psychological problems in obese children.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, PA 15213-2593.


This study assessed the influence of child and parental obesity and parental psychiatric symptoms on psychological problems in obese 8-11-year-old children. Child psychological problems were measured using the Child Behavior Checklist/4-18, whereas adult psychiatric symptoms were measured using the Cornell Medical Index. Multiple linear regression analyses showed parental psychiatric symptoms were related to child psychological problems for six of eight problem behavior scales. Child obesity made no independent contribution to child psychological problems, and parental obesity was related to child problems on only one scale. The most prevalent problems were Anxiety/Depression for 15% of the boys and Social Problems for 20% of the boys and 12.8% of the girls. These results suggest a broader conceptualization of factors that influence behavior problems of obese children than their degree of obesity.

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