Title page for ETD etd-03012006-172433

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kihm, Holly Spencer
Author's Email Address hkihm@lsu.edu
URN etd-03012006-172433
Title Who Said “Words Can Never Hurt?” An Investigation of Child Weight Status, Childhood Psycosocial Variables, and Later Adult Quality of Life
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pam Monroe Committee Chair
Carol O'Neil Committee Member
Maria Kosma Committee Member
Melinda Sothern Committee Member
Robert Laird Committee Member
Phillip Brantley Dean's Representative
  • overweight
  • psychosocial
  • quality of life
  • obesity
  • child
Date of Defense 2006-02-01
Availability unrestricted
The first purpose of the research project was to examine the relationship between child weight status and adult quality of life. The second purpose of the research project was to test psychosocial variables as mediators of the relationship between child weight status and adult quality of life.

A total of 164 undergraduate and graduate students from Louisiana State University participated in the study. The students completed five online questionnaires that were used to assess variables such as child weight status, adult weight status, history of childhood teasing experiences, child self-concept, and adult quality of life.

Several statistical analyses were employed to test the project’s 23 hypotheses. Descriptive statistics were utilized to describe the project’s participants. Correlational analyses were run to determine if there were associations between some of the independent and dependent variables. Hierarchical regression analyses were also used to test the significance of the mediation models.

Results of the project showed that child weight status was negatively associated with adult quality of life. Variables that significantly mediated the relationship between child weight status and adult quality of life, such as low child self-concept and a history of being teased during childhood, were also identified.

Recognizing the influence that teasing and child self-concept have on an overweight or obese child’s future quality of life stresses the importance of addressing the psychosocial variables when working with children who struggle with weight management.

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