Associations between juvenile delinquency and weight-related variables: Analyses from a national sample of high school students

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Abstract

Objective:

This study examined direct and conditional associations between juvenile delinquency and weight-related variables in a national sample of high school students.

Method:

Data from the 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) of 12,713 high school students aged 14 to 17 were examined. Logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the data.

Results:

Bivariate and multivariate analyses indicated that juvenile delinquents were more likely than nondelinquents to use fasting, vomiting, and drugs to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight. Multivariate analyses also showed that delinquents were more likely than nondelinquents to perceive themselves as overweight, but the two groups did not differ in regard to actual overweight status. Tests of interactions in multivariate analyses indicated that the associations between delinquent status and specific, weight-related variables were stronger among younger than among older adolescents, as well as among female than among male adolescents.

Conclusions:

Future research should examine risk and protective factors for unhealthy weight control behaviors and perceptions among delinquents. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006

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