Perceived Social Support and Its Association With Obesity-Specific Health-Related Quality of Life

Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics: JDBP (Impact Factor: 2.12). 04/2011; 32(3):188-95. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e318208f576
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To (1) describe type and source of social support perceived by obese youth and examine associations with sociodemographic/anthropometric characteristics, and (2) examine relationships between social support and obesity-specific health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
Seventy-four obese youth and their primary caregivers participated. Youth completed the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale and an obesity-specific HRQOL measure, Sizing Me Up.
Close friends and parents provided the most social support and were rated most important, except for teacher informational support. Classmates and schools provided the least social support. Body mass index z-score was correlated with teacher support frequency (r = -.26, p < .05) and minority youth reported more parent support (t(72) = -2.21, p < .05). Compared with other support providers, classmate support significantly predicted most HRQOL scales (p < .001).
Close friends, parents, and teachers are significant sources of support to youth with obesity; however, classmates play a unique role in the HRQOL of obese youth.

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