The association between maltreatment and obesity among preschool children Robert C Whitaker, ShannonM Phillips, Sean M Orzol, Hillary L Burdette Revieweed by: Lindsey Mullinax, Heather Jones, & Hayfa Kheiry Nov 11, 2008Psyc 308
Data from 20 US cities was assessed to show the relationship between three types of parent reported child maltreatment and obesity at 3 years. It was hypothesized that children who experienced greater levels of maltreatment would have an increased risk of obesity.
It was hypothesized that children who experienced greater levels of maltreatment would have an increased risk of obesity
Height and weight measurements were taken using a protocol modeled after one established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1994).
Body mass index (BMI) and BMI percentiles for age and sex were computed according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 growth reference.
Obesity was defined as a BMI ≥ 95 th percentile.
Child maltreatment was assess by the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales (CTSPC). The full CTSPC contains four scales (nonviolent discipline, psychological agression, neglect, and physical assault)
For the purpose of this study child maltreatment was characterized using 15 items and three scales from the CTSPC: neglect (five items), psychological aggression (five items), and five items from the corporal punishment subscale of the physical assault scale.
The frequency of each type of maltreatment behavior in the prior year was analyzed using categories-ever/never for neglect and quintiles for the other two types of maltreatment.
The mothers’ heights and weights were also taken, using the same equipment and methods used for the children.
Data on the number of children in the household, mother’s education level, and relationship status were obtained from the survey after 3 years. Household income, mother’s race/ethnicity, age, smoking status during pregnancy, and the child’s sex and birth weight were obtained at the birth survey.
Each of the three types of child maltreatment were examined separately.
All covariates were analyzed as categorical variables. Chi-square tests were used to determine the significance of the association between the covariates and both maltreatment and obesity.
Two-way interactions between the maltreatment variable and child sex, maternal race/ethnicity and household income were also examined.
a possibility that could have had an impact on obesity may have not become apparent until an older age.
that the common practice of corporal punishment and psychological aggression toward preschoolers may reflect the level of the child’s gross motor activity at an age when many parental disciplinary efforts are directed at trying to shape their children’s natural impulses to explore their environment and to establish autonomy.
This study DID account for the factors, which have shown the strongest relationship to obesity at this age, children’s birth weight and the mother’s body mass index (BMI), race/ethnicity, education, income, and smoking status.
Findings for this study indicate that 3-year old children have an increased risk of obesity if they experienced neglect in the prior year and adds to the existing evidence that mental health conditions and obesity have some shared developmental origins.