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Original Research

Dusunen Adam. 2016; 29(1): 8-14

Evaluation of depression and social anxiety symptoms in obese children

Esra Akyuz Ozkan, Ali Irfan Gul, Zeynep Tuba Ozdemir, Hasim Husrevsahi, Zehra Yildirim, Esra Domur, Ummugulsum Aliye Gecit.


Objective: The present study aimed to assess depression and social anxiety symptoms in obese children.
Methods: The Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) and the Social Anxiety Scale for Children - Revised (SASC-R) were administered to 80 obese children and 82 controls.
Results: The obese group consisted of 42 male and 38 female children, mean age 12.48±2.70 years (range 7-17 years), mean body mass index (BMI) was 27.47±3.72 kg/m2; controls were 43 male, 39 female children, mean age 12.93±2.32 years (range 9-17 years), mean BMI was 16.92±5.17 kg/m2. Mean social anxiety scores were higher in the obese group than in the control group. Mean depression scores were significantly higher in the obese group than in the control group. The mean depression scores were higher in obese females compared to control females as well as in males. The mean social anxiety scores were higher in obese females than in controls as well as in males. There was no correlation between BMI and depression and social anxiety scores in obese males and females. Among obese childeren 21.5% and among the control group 14.3% had a value of CDI above the cut-off point, and this was statistically significant. Among obese childeren 15.2% of females and 10.4% of males had a value above the cut-off point, but the difference between sexes was not statistically significant.
Discussion: Depression and social anxiety symptoms were more common in obese children and did not relate to the degree of obesity. The prevention of childhood obesity is important in both sexes for reducing the risk of psychological disorder in adulthood.

Key words: Children, depression, obese, social anxiety

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