Date of Award
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Health and Kinesiology
Gerald C. Hyner
Gerald C. Hyner
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Purpose: Examined whether high-school students' body mass index (BMI) classification was related to being bullied, and whether being bullied mediates the student's likelihood of practicing unhealthy weight management and weight loss behaviors.
Methods: This study was a secondary data analysis of cross-sectional data obtained by the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) 2011. Mediation analyses were used to assess relationships between weight status, being bullied and use of unhealthy weight management and weight loss behaviors.
Results: The sample consisted of 15,425 high-school students in the United States drawn from a nationally representative survey. In this sample, 15.8% were overweight and 13.7% were obese. Twenty-four percent reported being bullied and 16.7% reported unhealthy weight management and weight loss behaviors. Through mediation analysis, BMI was examined in relation to unhealthy weight management and weight loss behaviors; however, overweight or obese youth were not more likely to report being bullied. Therefore, being bullied does not seem to be a mediator of this relationship. It was important to note that if the students reported being bullied, they were significantly more likely to report unhealthy weight management and weight loss behaviors. A stronger association was found when BMI was replaced with self-perception of weight. Age also appeared to be an important factor in this relationship.
Conclusion: Although bullying did not seem to mediate the relationship between BMI and self-perception of weight with unhealthy weight management and weight loss behaviors, there appeared to be significant relationships between these variables.
Simpson-Pedigo, Lindsey, "The Relationship Between Bullying and Weight Management Behaviors in High School Aged Youth" (2013). Open Access Theses. 105.