Get access

Moderators of the effect of weight on job-related outcomes: a meta-analysis of experimental studies


  • Authors' Note: This research was supported by funding from the Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mark Roehling, Michigan State University, 429 South Kezie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. E-mail:


This study provides the first meta-analytic testing of (1) several proposed moderators of the relationship between employee weight and job-related outcomes (e.g., target gender, target qualifications, and rater gender); and (2) the effect of specific design features on the variation in results obtained across relevant experimental studies (e.g., weight manipulation and amount of job-relevant information). The results indicate that there are important moderators of the relationship between people's weight and job-related outcomes. However, design feature may significantly influence the obtained results. In particular, inconsistent experimental findings regarding the hypothesized moderating role of target sex appear to be explained by limitations in the way in which target weight was manipulated in some studies. Directions for future research are identified.