Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Jesus Tanguma

Abstract

The development of obesity from adolescence to adulthood is not well understood, nor does the research support a multidimensional approach for this understanding. Studies have described primarily cross-sectional bivariate relationships between combinations of obesity, religiosity, depression, and social support, but it is still not known whether there is a relationship between adolescent religiosity, depression, and social support in the development of adult obesity or whether depression and social support mediate the religiosityâ??obesity relationship. The dynamic, multidimensional, functional model of wellness presented by Hawks was the basis for the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical interactions proposed in this study. The research questions sought to identify the relationship that exists between adolescent religiosity, depression, and social support and adult obesity and considered depression and social support as potential mediators of the religiosityâ??obesity relationship. This quantitative study employed multiple linear regression while using the prospective nature of the Add Health data set to gain a longitudinal understanding of the religiosityâ??obesity relationship. Adolescent male religiosity significantly predicted adult obesity, but female religiosity did not. Neither depression nor social support mediated the religiosityâ??obesity relationship. Social change implications include a rationale for developing sex-based multidimensional approaches, including spiritual approaches, for supporting adolescents in their transition to adulthood. Support for acknowledging the differences between sexes for multiple health interactions is provided and indicated for healthcare providers. Finally, health educators are presented with much-needed support for the concept of the multidimensionality of wellness.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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