Bidirectional Links between Self-Esteem and Weight Concerns in Adolescence and the Moderating Roles of Parent Responsiveness and Youth Gender
- Hochgraf, Anna
- [University Park, Pennsylvania] : Pennsylvania State University, 2017.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- McHale, Susan
- Restrictions on Access:
- Open Access.
- Purpose: Weight concerns are common among adolescents and are associated with a range of negative psychological and physical health outcomes. Self-esteem is a correlate of weight concerns, yet little prospective research has been conducted to determine direction of this association over the course of adolescence, or whether this association differs by gender. Prior research also documents that parent responsiveness may act as a protective factor in the development of weight concerns. This study sought to clarify the role of self-esteem in the development of weight concerns in adolescence and investigate the potentially protective role of parental responsiveness. As the role of fathers in the development of weight concerns has been understudied, both mother and father responsiveness were examined. Methods: The sample was predominately Caucasian/European American and included 392 adolescents ages 11-18 (mean age at first measurement = 15 years; 49.5% female). Time lagged mixed effects models were used to examine the direction of within-person associations between self-esteem and weight concerns over a four-year period and to test mother and father responsiveness and youth gender as moderators in these associations. Results: Findings revealed bidirectional associations between self-esteem and weight concerns over the course of adolescence, and confirmed the moderating role of gender and father but not mother responsiveness in the prospective link between self-esteem and weight concerns such that father responsiveness buffered the effects of low self-esteem on weight concerns for girls but not boys. Only gender moderated the prospective link between weight concerns and self-esteem, such that increases in self-esteem predicted decreases in weight concerns for both boys and girls, but the magnitude of this effect was slightly greater for boys. Conclusions: Findings suggest that self-esteem and weight concerns are reciprocally related in adolescence and highlight the importance of examining interactions between family processes and individual characteristics to predict adolescent psychological adjustment.
- Dissertation Note:
- M.S. Pennsylvania State University 2017.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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