ERIC Number: EJ1090234
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Teachers' Perceptions of Youth with Obesity in the Classroom
Wilson, Shana M.; Smith, Aimee W.; Wildman, Beth G.
Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, v8 n4 p231-243 2015
Pediatric obesity is a widespread health concern and youth with obesity face teasing and ridicule, which can lead to academic difficulties (e.g., falling behind from missed class time). Teachers have a direct role in how children are treated by peers. We examined how teachers' views of children with obesity differ from their views of children with asthma, a less stigmatized chronic condition. Online questionnaires assessing attitudes toward children with health conditions were completed by 140 first- to fifth-grade teachers. Teachers rated children with asthma as more likely to be accepted by their peers than children with obesity. Additionally, teachers reported children with obesity as more burdensome to have in their classroom. Our findings that teachers reported children with obesity as more burdensome and less accepted may be influenced by societal attitudes related to the stigma associated with obesity. Findings highlight the importance of education for teachers on how to improve attitudes and outcomes for students with obesity.
Descriptors: Obesity, Child Health, Teacher Attitudes, Chronic Illness, Social Bias, Diseases, Questionnaires, Teacher Surveys, Elementary School Teachers, Rating Scales, Peer Relationship, Educational Environment, Statistical Analysis, Likert Scales
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio