Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Obesity in adolescence; Overweight persons;


The contributing factors in childhood obesity include psychological, physical fitness, and social elements. Much previous literature has studied such variables in isolation or in limited combinations. There is a need for multivariate approaches to the research in childhood obesity. The research question in this study was to determine was there any relationship between the subjects self-esteem, psychological and health locus-of-control, nutritional knowledge, food choices, and physical fitness, that will significantly distinguish overweight and normal weight youth, as determined through the measures of the PiersHarris Children's Self Concept Scale (PHCSCS), the Nowick~Strickland Loc4s-of-Control scale (CNS-IE), the Multidimensional Health Locus-of-Control scale (MHLC), the Wisconsin NET Nutrition Knowledge test for students, and the Food Choice Inventory? The data for 19 variables in this study were obtained from 110 high school students from the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades of one high school. There were 27 students in the overweight group and 83 students in the regular and underweight group. Using a discriminant function analysis, the two groups could be reliably and significantly distinguished by a linear combination of five variables, (i.e. three measures of skinfold thickness, time on mile run, and high nutritious food choice). The other 14 variables did not distinguish the groups. Gender based analysis revealed that males did discriminate on skinfold thickness, but the females did not. Inferences were drawn for future research and for applications for School Psychologists.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Donald W. Schmits

Second Advisor

Barry J. Wilson

Third Advisor

Susan Koch


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