Date of this Version

7-1-2013

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Objective To investigate the role of toddlers? self-regulation skills and temperament in predicting weight outcomes in preadolescence. Method Participants for this study included 195 children (114 girls) obtained from three different cohorts participating in a larger ongoing longitudinal study. At 2 years of age, participants participated in several laboratory tasks designed to assess their self-regulation abilities, including emotion regulation, sustained attention, and delay of gratification, while parents filled out a temperament questionnaire to assess toddlers? pleasure expression. Height and weight measures were collected when children were 4, 5, 7, and 10 years of age. Children also filled out a body image and eating questionnaire at the 10 year visit. Results Self-regulation skills in toddlers were associated with both BMI development, pediatric obesity, and body image/eating concerns. The temperament dimension of pleasure was also associated with BMI development and pediatric obesity but not body image/eating concerns. Conclusion Self-regulation difficulties across domains as well as temperament based pleasure in toddlers represented significant individual risk factors for the development of pediatric obesity eight years later. Early self-regulation difficulties also contributed to body image and eating concerns that typically accompanied overweight children. The mechanisms by which early self-regulation skills and temperament based pleasure may contribute to the development of pediatric obesity and associated weight concerns are discussed.

Originally Published In

International journal of obesity (2005)

PMID

23044856

DOI

10.1038/ijo.2012.165

Comments

Author Manuscript.

Published in final edited form as: Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 July ; 37(7): 937–942. doi:10.1038/ijo.2012.165.

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