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ERIC Number: EJ1109892
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4391
Associations between Adolescents' Weight and Maladjustment Differ with Deviation from Weight Norms in Social Contexts
Sutter, Carolyn; Nishina, Adrienne; Witkow, Melissa R.; Bellmore, Amy
Journal of School Health, v86 n9 p638-644 Sep 2016
Background: In line with the reflected self-appraisal hypothesis, previous research finds associations between weight and maladjustment are strongest when there is a mismatch between individuals' weight and the weight norm of their social contexts. However, research has not considered associations in more proximal social contexts. We examined differences in associations between weight and maladjustment for 2 proximal social contexts: grade-level peers and friendship groups. Methods: We used sixth-graders (N = 565; M[subscript age] = 12 years) self-reported height and weight (used to calculate body mass index (BMI) z-score), experiences of peer victimization, and depressive symptoms. Deviation from the normative weight was calculated as the students' BMI z-score minus the average BMI z-score for the context (grade-level peers or friendship group). Results: Considering deviations from grade-level peers, greater BMI z-scores were associated with more self-reported peer victimization only for students above the weight norm. For the friendship group, greater weight was associated with more self-reported depressive symptoms only for those who were above the normative weight. Conclusions: Being heavier during adolescence may be especially problematic for students who differ from the norm in their proximal social contexts. Intervention efforts focused on weight and maladjustment may want to consider the contexts involved in adolescents' self-appraisals.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: BCS1147593