Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jeers Of Peers May Affect Adolescent Adjustment

Date:
August 7, 2008
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
A researcher suggests that the struggles of adolescence can be particularly painful for children who also struggle with obesity.

New research suggests that traits such as obesity during adolescence that may increase the risk of attacks from peers can result in health and psychological struggles that remain through young adulthood. The researchers say that this is one of the first studies to explore a possible link between victimization and weight changes for obese adolescents.

Related Articles


The findings by principal investigator Ryan Adams, assistant professor of educational studies at the University of Cincinnati, and William Bukowski, professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, are published in the current issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

They examined peer victimization as a predictor of depression and body mass index in obese and non-obese adolescents. Adams explains that while peer victimization is comparable to bullying, bullying behavior typically involves one-on-one targeting while peer victimization can also entail victimization that can come from the peer group in general.

Over a four-year period, the study found lower self-esteem and increased depression and body mass index for obese females who felt they were victimized by their peers. Obese males reported increased depression and lower feelings about physical appearance. However, negative feelings about their physical appearance earlier in the study were linked to a decrease in body mass index as they got older.

For non-obese males and females, there was no link between peer victimization and increased body mass index, but there were links to negative feelings about physical appearance as they got older.

“Victimization may not only reinforce the negative self-concepts that a risk factor for victimization, such as obesity, may cause, but a risk factor for victimization, such as obesity, will also make it more likely that the adolescent will be victimized indefinitely. In other words, the risk factors that strengthen the links in this pathway will also keep the pathway intact because it is also a risk factor for being victimized,” Adams states in the report.

Using data from Statistics Canada (Canada’s national statistical agency), the researchers randomly selected Canadian children identified through the National Longitudinal Survey for Children and Youth and gathered self-report data from 1,287 participants over three different time periods, including when the children were 12-13 years old, 14-15 years old and 16-17 years old. To determine if children were being victimized by peers, they were asked whether children said nasty things to them at school, whether they felt bullied at school, or if they were bullied on the way to or home from school. To examine feelings about their physical appearance, the children were asked whether they liked the way they looked. To check body mass index over the three time periods, the children were asked to report their weight and height. Body Mass Index (BMI) was then calculated for males and females, and obesity was determined based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s growth charts.

“The current study suggests that a risk-factor for being victimized, such as obesity, may play an important role in the long-term effects of victimization by making it more likely that the adolescent will be victimized over the long term, but also that victimization can reinforce the negative self-perceptions that the adolescent already has,” Adams states in the study. “It is important to go beyond using obesity as a predictor of long-term adjustment and examine the processes and experiences of obese individuals that might cause depression or changes in health.”

The study was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council as well as the Centre for Research and Development’s Concordia University Research Chair in Psychology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Jeers Of Peers May Affect Adolescent Adjustment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806113312.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2008, August 7). Jeers Of Peers May Affect Adolescent Adjustment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806113312.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Jeers Of Peers May Affect Adolescent Adjustment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080806113312.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins