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The Lived experience of being obese/overweight as an adolescent

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Bouressa, Amy K.
Moss, Vicki
MS, Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
May 2011
Obesity in adolescence; Health behavior in adolescence; Teenagers - Health and hygiene
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how adolescents live and cope daily with the impacts of obesity/overweight. The increasing number of youths afflicted with weight problems in the United States is of epidemic proportion, and the impact of dealing with this weight crisis must be examined. The researcher examined the psychological effects of obesity/overweight on adolescents and the coping mechanisms they used. The results from this study increase knowledge on how best to intervene with prevention and treatment measures for adolescent obesity/overweight issues. The Stress, Coping, Adaptation Theory by Lazarus was utilized as the theoretical framework for this qualitative study. It is based upon the idea that coping with stressors is individualized and largely affects health outcomes of patients depending on their adaptation to specific situations. It is applicable to this research study because it is based on the theory that psychological state, physical health, and social functioning among individuals, especially adolescents, are impacted by their coping strategies (Seiffge-Krenke, Aunola, & Nurmi, 2009). Through open-ended interviews, participants were asked the following question;"Tell me what it was like for you to have weight problems when you were an adolescent?" Participants were obtained from a university in the Midwest and were required to meet the following criteria: a Body Mass Index of at least 25 or higher for at least 6 consecutive months between their age of 13 to 18 years. For the purpose of this study, the terms childhood and adolescent obesity/overweight were used interchangeably.
A Clinical paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
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