Family weight teasing, ethnicity and acculturation: Associations with well-being among Latinx, Hmong, and Somali Adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: This study examines the prevalence of weight-based teasing by family members and associations with unhealthy weight control behaviors, body satisfaction, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms among adolescents from three immigrant communities (Latinx, Hmong, and Somali). Methods: Data come from EAT 2010, a population-based study of weight and related behaviors (N = 1577, mean age = 14.5 years). Adjusted models tested associations between weight-based teasing and well-being, controlling for BMI and ethnic group; effect modification by ethnic group and acculturation were also explored. Results: Family weight-based teasing was common (12.1%–42.9% reporting this experience across gender and ethnic groups)and was associated with all four measures of well-being in the expected direction. Associations were statistically equivalent in all ethnic groups and were not modified by acculturation. Conclusion: Youth from immigrant communities experience family weight-based teasing and associated threats to well-being. Additional research is needed to further understand the cultural context of weight-based teasing and develop relevant prevention messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
StatePublished - Jul 2019



  • Acculturation
  • Adolescence
  • Mental health
  • Weight-based teasing
  • Weight-control behavior

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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