Teasing, Self-Concept, and Locus of Control among Overweight Children

Grant Winners

  • Jeffrey Kibler, Ph.D. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Mindy Ma, Ph.D. – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kavita Joshi, M.S., Student – Center for Psychological Studies


  • Karen Grosby, M.Ed. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Don Rosenblum, Ph.D. – Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences


Award Winners

Childhood obesity is a major concern for our community and throughout the U.S, as the rates of childhood obesity have nearly doubled in the past two decades. Overweight/obese children and adolescents report making more negative self-evaluations. Few studies have examined the ways in which self-concept is associated with weight-related issues among overweight children. The research in this area has not addressed predictors of childhood self-concept, such as locus of control or parental locus of control regarding their children's health. The purpose of the proposed study is to examine whether 1) overweight children report more weight-related teasing than nonweight-related teasing, 2) the frequency of weight-related teasing is associated with self concept, and 3) child locus of control and parental health locus of control moderate the relationship between weight-related teasing and child self concept. The study will include 60 overweight/obese children (30 girls and 30 boys) from the community. Body Mass Index (BMI) will be assessed to determine the weight status of the children. The Self-Description Questionnaire-1 will be used to assess self-concept. The Children's Health Locus of Control Scale and the Health Locus of Control - Parent/Child version will be used to assess the children's' health locus of control and the parent's health locus of control towards their children. To determine weight related teasing and non-weight related teasing, a self-report measure will be administered to both the child and the parent. Pearson product correlations will be utilized to assess relationship between self-concept and weight-related teasing; multiple regression will be used to examine whether locus of control moderates this relationship. Results of the proposed study may enhance knowledge about relationships between weight-related teasing and self-concept. The study results will assist the investigators in developing an innovative cognitively-based intervention for overweight children.