SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • childhood obesity;
  • general self-esteem;
  • dimensional self-esteem;
  • gender differences;
  • age differences

Abstract

Objective

To examine age and gender differences in global and dimensional self-esteem in children who are overweight.

Method

As part of a pretreatment assessment, the Perceived Competence Scale for Children was completed by 121 children (ages 8–14) who were overweight and enrolling in a weight reduction program.

Results

Gender differences in general self-esteem and age differences in physical self-esteem were found. Also, girls who were highly overweight reported lower physical self-esteem than girls who were moderately overweight. However, for boys, the opposite pattern emerged. For both boys and girls, cognitive and social self-esteem predicted general self-esteem and physical self-esteem did not.

Discussion

Children who are overweight may emphasize dimensions of their self-esteem in nongender stereotyped ways that are protective of their general self-esteem. Understanding developmental trends and gender differences in self-esteem can enhance our ability to assist youth who are overweight in maintaining favorable self-evaluations. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 31: 424–429, 2002.