Longitudinal bidirectional relations between body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms among Black adolescents: A cross-lagged panel analysis
To assess the variation in body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms by weight status and the bi-directional relations between body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms by weight status among Black adolescents. A sample of 153 Black adolescents aged 12-13 years, either overweight/obese (n = 57, 37%) or healthy weight (n = 96, 63%), were recruited and evaluated three times over two years (T1, T2 and T3). Measured weight and height were converted to age and sex-specific BMI z-score; body
... MI z-score; body dissatisfaction was measured with silhouettes, and depressive symptoms were measured with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-I). Bidirectional relations were assessed with cross-lagged panel analyses, accounting for stability over time and contemporary correlations. Body dissatisfaction was higher among the overweight/obese group than the healthy weight group. No significant differences were found for depressive symptoms by weight status. Among the overweight/obese group, there were bidirectional relations: antecedent body dissatisfaction predicted subsequent depressive symptoms (T1-T2: β = 0.42, SE = 0.11, p<0.001; T2-T3: β = 0.36, SE = 0.09, p<0.001) and antecedent depressive symptoms predicted subsequent body dissatisfaction (T1-T2: β = 0.25, SE = 0.10, p = 0.012; T2-T3: β = 0.17, SE = 0.08, p = 0.045). Among the healthy weight group, there was no relation in either direction. Elevated body dissatisfaction among the overweight/obese group supports weight-based stigma as a stressor among Black adolescents. The bidirectional relations between body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms among the overweight/obese group support the internalization of thinness idea and negative self-appraisal associated with depressive symptoms. Prevention of both body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms may be mutually beneficial among Black adolescents with overweight/obesity.