Shape and weight concerns among overweight pre-adolescents heighten risk for eating disorders and weight gain. Treatment and prevention efforts require consideration of psychosocial factors that co-occur with these concerns. This study involved 200 overweight pre-adolescents, aged 7-12 years (M age = 9.8; SD = 1.4), presenting for family-based weight control treatment. Hierarchical regression was used to examine the influence of pre-adolescents' individual characteristics and social experiences, and their parents' psychological symptoms, on shape and weight concerns as assessed by the Child Eating Disorder Examination. Findings revealed that higher levels of dietary restraint, greater feelings of loneliness, elevated experiences with weight-related teasing, and higher levels of parents' eating disorder symptoms predicted higher shape and weight concerns among overweight pre-adolescents. Interventions addressing overweight pre-adolescents' disordered eating behaviors and social functioning, as well as their parents' disordered eating behaviors and attitudes, may be indicated for those endorsing shape and weight concerns.
- Social relationships
- Weight/shape concerns