Honors Program

University Honors, Honors in Nursing

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

William T. Dalton III

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Joy Wachs, Deborah Slawson


Approximately 34% of adolescents are overweight or obese which can be accompanied by physical, psychosocial, and economic consequences. Increasingly, pediatric overweight/obesity research has focused on Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) as a health outcome. This study examined differences in HRQoL across weight categories in adolescents, specifically, the sensitivity of using a general versus condition-specific measure. Further, the influence of gender was explored.

Data were extracted from Wave 2 of Team Up for Healthy Living, a school-based obesity prevention program targeting adolescents in Southern Appalachia. Participants (N = 918; 50% Female; 93% Caucasian; 90% 9th graders) completed the Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) Inventory (general) and PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale (condition-specific) measures as part of a larger survey. Body mass index-for-age and -sex percentiles were calculated using actual height and weight, and students were classified as underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria.

Two 4 (weight category: underweight vs. healthy weight vs. overweight vs. obese) x 2 (gender: male vs. female) factorial analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were calculated to compare mean scores of total HRQoL (both generic and condition-specific). Additionally, 7 factorial multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) were conducted with each measure’s subdomains. Fisher’s Least Significant Difference post hoc analyses were run to assess differences between groups, at a significance level of p<0.05.

The current study revealed no interaction effect between total HRQoL (assessed via the generic or condition-specific measure) and weight category and gender; however, main effects were found for both weight category (assessed via a generic measure only) and gender (assessed via both generic and condition-specific measures). Additional research is needed to examine the impact of utilizing different measures and the potential role of gender as well as other factors that may influence HRQoL across weight categories. These issues are important as researchers to date utilize a variety of HRQoL measures making interpretation of findings difficult and often do not consider other variables such as gender that may influence findings.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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