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Article

Associations between Family Weight-Based Teasing, Eating Pathology, and Psychosocial Functioning among Adolescent Military Dependents

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Department of Medical & Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
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Department of Family Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
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Military Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Program (MiCOR), Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
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Metis Foundation, 300 Convent St #1330, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA
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Department of Psychology, Fordham University, Bronx, NY 10458, USA
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Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
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Department of Family and Community Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Old Main, State College, PA 16801, USA
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Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060, USA
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Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics and Surgery Center, Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010024
Received: 13 November 2019 / Revised: 13 December 2019 / Accepted: 15 December 2019 / Published: 18 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Family Determinants of Adolescent Adjustment)
Weight-based teasing (WBT) by family members is commonly reported among youth and is associated with eating and mood-related psychopathology. Military dependents may be particularly vulnerable to family WBT and its sequelae due to factors associated with their parents’ careers, such as weight and fitness standards and an emphasis on maintaining one’s military appearance; however, no studies to date have examined family WBT and its associations within this population. Therefore, adolescent military dependents at-risk for adult obesity and binge-eating disorder were studied prior to entry in a weight gain prevention trial. Youth completed items from the Weight-Based Victimization Scale (to assess WBT by parents and/or siblings) and measures of psychosocial functioning, including the Beck Depression Inventory-II, The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and the Social Adjustment Scale. Eating pathology was assessed via the Eating Disorder Examination interview, and height and fasting weight were measured to calculate BMIz. Analyses of covariance, adjusting for relevant covariates including BMIz, were conducted to assess relationships between family WBT, eating pathology, and psychosocial functioning. Participants were 128 adolescent military dependents (mean age: 14.35 years old, 54% female, 42% non-Hispanic White, mean BMIz: 1.95). Nearly half the sample (47.7%) reported family WBT. Adjusting for covariates, including BMIz, family WBT was associated with greater eating pathology, poorer social functioning and self-esteem, and more depressive symptoms (ps ≤ 0.02). Among military dependents with overweight and obesity, family WBT is prevalent and may be linked with eating pathology and impaired psychosocial functioning; prospective research is needed to elucidate the temporal nature of these associations. View Full-Text
Keywords: weight-based teasing; adolescents; military dependents; eating pathology; obesity weight-based teasing; adolescents; military dependents; eating pathology; obesity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pearlman, A.T.; Schvey, N.A.; Higgins Neyland, M.K.; Solomon, S.; Hennigan, K.; Schindler, R.; Leu, W.; Gillmore, D.; Shank, L.M.; Lavender, J.M.; Burke, N.L.; Wilfley, D.E.; Sbrocco, T.; Stephens, M.; Jorgensen, S.; Klein, D.; Quinlan, J.; Tanofsky-Kraff, M. Associations between Family Weight-Based Teasing, Eating Pathology, and Psychosocial Functioning among Adolescent Military Dependents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 24. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010024

AMA Style

Pearlman AT, Schvey NA, Higgins Neyland MK, Solomon S, Hennigan K, Schindler R, Leu W, Gillmore D, Shank LM, Lavender JM, Burke NL, Wilfley DE, Sbrocco T, Stephens M, Jorgensen S, Klein D, Quinlan J, Tanofsky-Kraff M. Associations between Family Weight-Based Teasing, Eating Pathology, and Psychosocial Functioning among Adolescent Military Dependents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(1):24. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010024

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pearlman, Arielle T., Natasha A. Schvey, M. K. Higgins Neyland, Senait Solomon, Kathrin Hennigan, Rachel Schindler, William Leu, Dakota Gillmore, Lisa M. Shank, Jason M. Lavender, Natasha L. Burke, Denise E. Wilfley, Tracy Sbrocco, Mark Stephens, Sarah Jorgensen, David Klein, Jeffrey Quinlan, and Marian Tanofsky-Kraff. 2020. "Associations between Family Weight-Based Teasing, Eating Pathology, and Psychosocial Functioning among Adolescent Military Dependents" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 1: 24. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010024

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