Obesity and social marginalization: When do organized activities promote or hinder peer relationships?

Andrea Vest Ettekal, Sandra D. Simpkins, David R. Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Overweight youth are often socially marginalized and have fewer friends than their nonoverweight peers. Participation in organized activities may be one way to promote friendships for overweight youth. In this study, we used a large nationally representative sample to test whether two aspects of participation promoted friendships, namely the number of activities and the social acceptance of activity co-participants. In contradiction to our hypotheses, participating in activities with high socially accepted peers was associated with significantly fewer friendships over time for overweight adolescents. Conversely, there were small differences between overweight and nonoverweight adolescents’ friendships when they participated in activities with low socially accepted co-participants. Our findings provide new insight that activities may not be universally beneficial for overweight adolescents’ peer relationships. We discuss the various peer mechanisms that explain why certain types of activities predict these friendship patterns for overweight youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Developmental Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 12 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Social Marginalization
Obesity
friendship
adolescent
Social Distance
participation
acceptance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Obesity and social marginalization : When do organized activities promote or hinder peer relationships? / Ettekal, Andrea Vest; Simpkins, Sandra D.; Schaefer, David R.

In: Applied Developmental Science, 12.07.2017, p. 1-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ettekal, Andrea Vest ; Simpkins, Sandra D. ; Schaefer, David R. / Obesity and social marginalization : When do organized activities promote or hinder peer relationships?. In: Applied Developmental Science. 2017 ; pp. 1-12.
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