Familism, self-esteem, and weight-specific quality of life among latinx adolescents with obesity

Marvyn R.Arévalo Avalos, Stephanie L. Ayers, Donald L. Patrick, Justin Jager, Felipe González Castro, Yolanda P. Konopken, Micah L. Olson, Colleen S. Keller, Erica G. Soltero, Allison N. Williams, Gabriel Q. Shaibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Obesity is a critical public health condition affecting Latinx adolescents and contributes to health disparities across the lifespan. Childhood and adolescent obesity is associated with reduced quality of life (QoL) and decreased self-esteem. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of cultural (e.g., familism) and psychosocial (e.g., self-esteem) factors as predictors of weight-specific QoL among Latinx adolescents with obesity. Methods: Baseline data from 160 Latinx adolescents (ages 14-16 years) with obesity (BMI > 95th percentile for age and sex) who were recruited for a diabetes prevention intervention were used. Structural equation modeling tested the relationships between four latent constructs (familism, positive self-esteem, self-deprecation, and weight-specific QoL). Results: The model tested paths from familism to positive selfesteem, self-deprecation, and weight-specific QoL, and paths from positive self-esteem and selfdeprecation to weight-specific QoL. Higher familism was positively associated with positive selfesteem but not self-deprecation. In turn, positive self-esteem was positively associated with higher weight-specific QoL, whereas self-deprecation was negatively associated. Furthermore, there was an indirect effect of familism on QoL via positive self-esteem. Conclusions: These data shed light into specific cultural and psychosocial constructs that influence QoL among Latinx adolescents with obesity. This study suggests that familism and positive self-esteem can operate as protective factors associated with higher weight-specific QoL in Latinx adolescents with obesity; whereas self-deprecation may operate as a risk factor for lower weight-specific QoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-857
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Familism
  • Latinx adolescents
  • Quality of life
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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