The Role of Hope and Resilience in Pediatric Obesity Intervention Outcomes

by Brigitte Dawn Beale

Institution: Wright State University Professional Psychology Program
Department: School of Professional Psychology
Degree: Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Year: 2014
Keywords: Behavioral Sciences; Clinical Psychology; Psychology; Public Health; youth; obesity; positive psychology; hope; resilience; obesity intervention
Record ID: 2036910
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=wsupsych1374743997


Childhood obesity is a major health concern in the United States (McClanahan, Huff, & Omar, 2009). In recent years, the prevalence of pediatric obesity has stabilized. However, a substantial decrease in obesity rates has not yet occurred, nor has the gap of health disparity been closed amongst ethnic groups experiencing obesity. African-American and Hispanic youth continue to experience obesity at substantially higher rates than other ethnic groups (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012). The purpose of this study was to examine correlations between Positive Psychology constructs and pediatric obesity intervention outcomes. A single-participant research design was utilized to compare baseline outcomes to post-intervention outcomes. Hope and resilience were considered as predictor variables in the study. The outcome variables were Body Mass Index (BMI), blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, and waist circumference. Participants were found to have normal hope and resilience levels at the onset of the study, which did not change significantly. Participants showed meaningful decreases in waist circumference and cholesterol levels of a participation period of 12 weeks. Additionally, meaningful change occurred in psychometric data related to pathway-related hope thinking and emotional reactivity. There continues to be a need for childhood obesity intervention research. This study model needs to be replicated to establish statistical significance as it may inform future childhood obesity intervention treatments.