Global and dimensional self-esteem in preadolescent and early adolescent children who are overweight: Age and gender differences

Authors

  • Allen C. Israel,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York
    • Department of Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York, 1400 WashingtonAvenue, Albany, NY 12222
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  • Masha Y. Ivanova

    1. Department of Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York
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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.

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