• childhood obesity;
  • psychosocial risk;
  • nutritional science;
  • developmental science;
  • transdisciplinary model


More complex models than those currently available are needed to guide research about childhood obesity. This article presents an interpersonal and intrapersonal risk model of child obesity, a transdisciplinary model of psychosocial risk factors that is based on work in developmental, family, and nutritional sciences. Two interpersonal realms of child development identified as being potentially significant for understanding the development and maintenance of overweight include the child's family and peer contexts. Child intrapersonal variables proposed as mediators between these contexts and weight outcomes include poor self-regulation and self-awareness, negative affect, and emotional or external eating. The article encourages developmental scientists to add their expertise to the study of childhood obesity by using models such as the one outlined here for the generation and testing of hypotheses so that future intervention efforts may be improved.