The effects of parental and peer factors on psychiatric symptoms in adolescents with obesity



The aim of this study was to examine the relationships among psychiatric symptoms, effect of beliefs and attitudes of parents about obese people and victimization or bullying in obese adolescents.


The study group included 110 obese or overweight adolescents and 55 adolescents of normal weight as the control group. All adolescents completed the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and Traditional Bullying Scale. The parents completed the Attitudes Toward Obese Persons (ATOP) Scale and Beliefs About Obese Persons (BAOP) Scale.


The BSI subscale scores for depression were significantly higher in the study group. There was no significant relationship found between psychiatric symptoms of obese or overweight adolescents and the ATOP and BAOP scores of parents. When victims, bullies/victims, bullies and those not included in any group among obese or overweight adolescents were examined, psychiatric symptoms of victims and bullies/victims were significantly higher.


The results of this study suggest that the clinical treatment of obesity is not just a matter of diet and exercise but additionally dealing with issues of depression and anxiety. A very satisfactory result of the study was that parents of obese or overweight adolescents did not show an increased weight bias. This study has also shown the association between negative social and psychological ramifications, as the study group was more likely to be the victims and perpetrators of bullying behaviors than their normal-weight peers.

Level of evidence

Level III, case–control analytic study.

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Correspondence to Nuray Kanbur.

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The present study was approved by Hacettepe University Research Ethics Committee and has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Tas, D., Tüzün, Z., Düzçeker, Y. et al. The effects of parental and peer factors on psychiatric symptoms in adolescents with obesity. Eat Weight Disord 25, 617–625 (2020).

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  • Adolescent
  • Obesity
  • Peer
  • Parent
  • Attitude
  • Bullying