Peer victimization in adolescents with severe obesity: The roles of self-worth and social support in associations with psychosocial adjustment

Academic Article


  • Objective To examine the associations of peer victimization with internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, social competence, and academic performance in a clinical sample of adolescents with severe obesity, and whether self-worth and social support affect these associations. Methods Multisite cross-sectional data from 139 adolescents before weight loss surgery (Mage = 16.9; 79.9% female, 66.2% White; MBody Mass Index [BMI] = 51.5 kg/m2) and 83 nonsurgical comparisons (Mage = 16.1; 81.9% female, 54.2% White; MBMI = 46.9 kg/m2) were collected using self-reports with standardized measures. Results As a group, participants did not report high levels of victimization. Self-worth mediated the effects of victimization on a majority of measures of adjustment, and further analyses provided evidence of the buffering effect of social support for some mediational models. Conclusions Self-worth and social support are important targets for prevention and intervention for both victimization and poor adjustment in adolescent severe obesity.
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    Author List

  • Reiter-Purtill J; Gowey MA; Austin H; Smith KC; Rofey DL; Jenkins TM; Garland BH; Zeller MH
  • Start Page

  • 272
  • End Page

  • 282
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 3