The relationship between weight status and emotional and behavioral problems in Spanish preschool children

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Abstract

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. Objective: To examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between behavioral problems and weight status, considering body mass index (BMI) z-scores and overweight status, in a community sample of preschoolers. Methods: The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents were administered to 611 parents. Adjusted general linear models and binary logistic regressions were used. Results: Children who were overweight and had a higher BMI were at increased risk of peer problems and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Prospective analyses showed that a higher BMI at the age of 3 years was predictive of peer problems at ages 4 and 5 years and hyperactivity and ADHD symptoms at the age of 4 years. Conclusion: This is the first study using a diagnostic- based instrument that shows a relationship between weight status and ADHD symptoms in preschoolers. Overweight children might benefit from screening for behavioral disorders and peer relationship problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-463
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • BMI
  • Behavioral problems
  • Children
  • Overweight
  • Peer problems
  • Preschool

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