Get access

Boys’ and Girls’ Weight Status and Math Performance From Kindergarten Entry Through Fifth Grade: A Mediated Analysis

Authors


  • This research was supported by a grant from the USDA, Economic Research Service, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Programs (43-3AEM-1-80077) and a cooperative research agreement between the University of Missouri (first author) and the USDA, Economic Research Service, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (Joanne Guthrie; Agreement Number: 58-5000-8-0066). Please note, as per IES publication policy concerning restricted-use data, all reported sample sizes were rounded to the nearest 10.

concerning this article should be addressed to Sara Gable, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1205 University Avenue, Suite 1100, Columbia, MO 65211. Electronic mail may be sent to gables@missouri.edu.

Abstract

This study tests a mediated model of boys’ and girls’ weight status and math performance with 6,250 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. Five data points spanning kindergarten entry (mean age = 68.46 months) through fifth grade (mean age = 134.60 months) were analyzed. Three weight status groups were identified: persistent obesity, later onset obesity, and never obese. Multilevel models tested relations between weight status and math performance, weight status and interpersonal skills and internalizing behaviors, and interpersonal skills and internalizing behaviors and math performance. Interpersonal skills mediated the association between weight status and math performance for girls, and internalizing behaviors mediated the association between weight status and math performance for both sexes, with effects varying by group and time.

Ancillary