Psychosocial correlates of healthy beliefs, choices, and behaviors in overweight and obese school-age children: A Primary care healthy choices intervention pilot study

Diana Jacobson, Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The relationships among weight, mental health, social competence, healthy lifestyle beliefs, choices, and behaviors in overweight and obese school-age children (9 to 12 years) who were participating in a pilot Healthy Choices Intervention Program were examined using a descriptive correlational design. Results indicated that the children's weight negatively correlated with the children's self-concept, social skills, and, most importantly, healthy lifestyle choices. Their healthy lifestyle beliefs demonstrated positive correlations with their intentions to choose a healthy lifestyle. The children's healthy lifestyle beliefs and choices also were associated with increased cooperation and empathy behaviors. A positive self-concept was associated with decreased anxiety and depressive symptomology. These data support the need for health care providers to understand the psychological and social issues that overweight and obese school-age children experience. Cognitive behavior skills building techniques, such as those in the Healthy Choices Intervention Program, may promote healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-464
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011



  • Mental health
  • Obesity
  • School-age children
  • Social competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics

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