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: 2.13). 04/2011; 32(3):188-95. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e318208f576
Source: PubMed


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Joseph Rausch
  • Source
    • "Expanding on this research, Herzer, Zellar, Rausch and Modi [14] investigated social support providers and obesity-specific HRQoL in 74 obese adolescent and caregiver dyads, and found that parents and close friends should be included in obesity prevention and treatment interventions, as they were the most valued providers of emotional appraisal and instrumental support for obese youth. Interestingly, only classmates were found to significantly influence HRQoL [14]. Taken together these studies highlight the importance of supportive networks for overweight or obese adolescents in any consideration of their overall functioning. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Obesity is a major health concern for adolescents, with one in four being overweight or obese in Australia. The purpose of this study was to examine the moderation effect of parental encouragement of healthy behaviors on the relationship between adolescent weight status and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL). Baseline data were collected from 3,040 adolescents participating in the It's Your Move project, conducted in the Barwon South-West region of Victoria, in 2005. The Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory was used to measure HRQoL, and parental encouragement was derived from purposely designed self-report items. Weight status was calculated according to World Health Organization growth standards from measured weight and height. Linear regression analyses modeled direct relationships and interaction terms. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, physical activity level, nutrition and school attended. Higher levels of parental encouragement, as compared to low encouragement, were positively associated with higher global HRQoL scores, particularly in the physical functioning domain. To a lesser degree, high parental encouragement was also associated with higher scores on the psychosocial domain. Obese weight status showed a significant association with lower HRQoL on all scales. Parental encouragement significantly moderated the inverse relationship between overweight status and physical wellbeing. Findings suggest that parental encouragement of healthy behavior is associated with increased HRQoL scores for adolescents. Whilst more research is needed to validate the significant interaction effect, main effects suggest that parental encouragement of healthy behavior is an important factor in adolescent wellbeing and should be considered when developing prevention and clinical interventions for obesity.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · BMC Public Health
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies showed that overweight and obesity in children and adolescents are associated with impaired health-related quality of life (QOL). The objective of this study was to describe health-related QOL among Jordanian adolescents who were overweight or obese. This is a cross-sectional study conducted among Jordanian students aged between 13 and 18 years in three educational directorates in Irbid City in the north of Jordan. Using simple random sampling, two male schools and two female schools were selected from the list of each directorate to represent all schools in north of Jordan. In each selected school, all adolescents aged 13-18 years were visited in their classes and were invited to participate in the study. Of the total number of 1561 subjects, 1433 (91.8%) agreed to participate in the study. The short-form 15-item Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory version 4.00 was used to measure health-related QOL among participants. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated and interpreted according to the BMI-for-age growth charts of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. This study included 707 boys and 726 girls; 17.6% of participants were overweight and 7.8% were obese. For boys and girls, adolescents who were overweight or obese had significantly lower average scores for psychosocial health summary scale and physical functioning scale. Female gender, age of 16-18 years, fathers' education of high school or less and unemployed fathers (for social functioning and physical functioning) were significantly associated with decreased average scores of all scales and subscales of Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Compared with healthy adolescents, adolescents who were overweight or obese reported significantly lower health-related QOL in all domains. Girls reported greater effect of overweight and obesity on their health-related QOL.
    No preview · Article · May 2011 · Child Care Health and Development
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND Despite school-based and other interventions for pediatric obesity, many obese youth of the present generation will persist in their obesity into adolescence and adulthood. Thus, understanding not only how better to tailor weight interventions but how to promote overall adjustment for persistently obese youth is of utmost importance. This study examined the role of perceived social support in predicting later psychosocial status (ie, weight-related quality of life) for persistently obese adolescents. METHODS This study used a longitudinal design whereby persistently obese and nonoverweight comparison youth completed measures at 2 time points approximately 4 years apart. RESULTSObese youth reported lower levels of social support than comparison youth. Among obese youth, classmate and teacher support predicted future weight-related quality of life. CONCLUSIONS Social support, particularly from classmates, is an important predictor for the longitudinal psychosocial functioning of persistently obese youth. High levels of perceived teacher support may signal the presence of other psychosocial difficulties. Implications for school-based interventions are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of School Health
Show more