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ERIC Number: EJ830364
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0193-3973
One Step Closer: Understanding the Complex Relationship between Weight and Self-Esteem in Ethnically Diverse Preadolescent Girls
Erickson, Sarah J.; Hahn-Smith, Anne; Smith, Jane Ellen
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, v30 n2 p129-139 Mar-Apr 2009
Empirical support for the association between childhood overweight and low self-esteem is equivocal. The present study investigated how weight, ethnicity, body esteem, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating attitudes/behaviors contribute to global and dimensional self-esteem in a non-clinical sample of Hispanic- and Anglo-American grade 3-6 girls (N = 410). Self-esteem decreased with heavier weight, primarily due to age. There were more similarities than differences between Anglo- and Hispanic-American girls, but Hispanic-American girls reported a weaker inverse association between disordered eating and self esteem. Further, age-standardized weight, body esteem, and disordered eating were unique predictors of global and dimensional self-esteem. A complex relationship emerged between weight and body esteem when predicting self-esteem: among girls with low-moderate body esteem, heavier girls had "higher" self-esteem than (relatively) lower weight girls. Parallel primary findings were obtained when predicting all six self-esteem dimensions. Future steps for understanding these results and the ethnic association difference are discussed. (Contains 4 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A