Youth Subjective Social Status (SSS) is Associated with Parent SSS, Income, and Food Insecurity but not Weight Loss Among Low-Income Hispanic Youth

Academic Article


  • Objective: Subjective social status (SSS), perceived rank in the social ladder, is associated with weight, but determinants of SSS in youth remain unknown. Relationships between youth SSS and income, food insecurity, parent SSS, and BMI change were investigated during an obesity intervention. Methods: Data came from a family-centered, community-based obesity intervention for low-income families. Parent and youth SSS were assessed using a validated, age-appropriate SSS scale. Food insecurity and socioeconomic factors were assessed in parents; child and parent weight-related data were measured at baseline and post intervention. Results: Participants included 110 primarily Hispanic (97%) low-income youth and their parents. Food insecurity was reported in 66.4% of families. Youth SSS was positively associated with parent SSS (P = 0.0014). In both parents and children, the association between income and SSS was moderated by food insecurity such that lower income was more strongly associated with lower SSS among food-insecure households (P = 0.0286 and P = 0.0327, respectively). Youth SSS was not associated with youth BMI reduction. Conclusions: Youth SSS was not predictive of weight loss in this intervention. Intriguingly, the association between income and SSS was modified by food insecurity, suggesting that food insecurity shapes the contribution of socioeconomic factors to one’s perceived social status.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Obesity  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cardel MI; Tong S; Pavela G; Dhurandhar E; Miller D; Boles R; Haemer M
  • Start Page

  • 1923
  • End Page

  • 1930
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 12