Teasing, disordered eating behaviors, and psychological morbidities among overweight adolescents.

Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether weight-related teasing is associated with weight control behaviors, disordered eating thoughts and behaviors, and psychological comorbidities in overweight adolescents. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: A sample of 46 male and 84 female adolescents completed a survey assessing teasing frequency, sources of teasing (peers and family), weight control behaviors, disordered eating thoughts and behaviors, depression, anxiety, anger, and self-esteem. RESULTS: Frequent teasing by both family and peers was associated with greater disordered eating thoughts and behaviors, depression, anxiety, anger, and decreased self-esteem. The more that adolescents were bothered by peer and family teasing, the more often they reported a greater value on thinness, higher levels of anxiety, lower self-esteem, and their self-assessment was influenced by their weight and shape. Higher levels of teasing frequency and being bothered by teasing were related to greater odds of adolescents endorsing severe levels of binge eating behaviors and depressive symptomolgy. DISCUSSION: Overweight adolescents teased about their weight are at risk for disordered eating thoughts and behaviors and psychological morbidities. Health-care providers should involve parents and youth in discussing teasing concerns. Furthermore, parents, schools, and communities should consider enacting policies to decrease or prohibit teasing. Future research is needed to further explore relationships between teasing and psychological functioning.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Libbey, HP; Story, MT; Neumark-Sztainer, DR; Boutelle, KN

Published Date

  • November 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 Suppl 2 /

Start / End Page

  • S24 - S29

PubMed ID

  • 18978759

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1930-739X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1930-7381

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/oby.2008.455

Language

  • eng