The purpose of the current study was to explore psychopathology as a mediator of quality of life (QOL) in children and adolescents with obesity. The notion that psychopathology and QOL are two distinct constructs was also tested.
A sample of treatment-seeking children and adolescents with obesity (n = 185, average age = 11.5, mean BMI SDS = 3.03) was matched to a community sample of children (n = 799, average age = 11.5). Both self- and parent-reported measures of QOL (KINDL-R) and psychopathology (CBCL/YSR) was completed.
Parent-reported QOL was impaired, and both self-reported and parent-reported psychopathology was elevated in children and adolescents with obesity. Psychopathology accounted for all the variance of the effect of obesity on parent-reported QOL. The distinction between QOL and psychopathology was supported through confirmatory factor analysis.
Impaired parent-reported QOL in children and adolescents with obesity was attributable to their elevated levels of psychopathology.