The Relation between Weight and Psychosocial Concerns among Youth Presenting in Rural Pediatric Primary Care

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This preliminary study examined the relation between weight and parent-reported psychosocial concerns among youth presenting to pediatric primary care clinics serving rural Appalachia. Parents of youth presenting for a sick or well child visit completed a demographic questionnaire and the Pediatric Symptom Checklist in the waiting area prior to their office visit. Standardized body mass index (zBMI) were computed based on information retrieved. Psychosocial concerns, specifically attention difficulties, were found to be significantly and negatively correlated with zBMI. Higher zBMI was found in youth with clinically significant (versus non-significant) internalizing scores and clinically non-significant (versus significant) attention difficulty scores. Additional research is needed to understand the complex relationship between weight and psychosocial concerns among youth presenting to rural pediatric primary care. An understanding of the relation between these factors may facilitate prevention/intervention efforts.