Mediating role of coping styles in the relationship between anxiety and health behaviors of obese adolescents

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Mediating role of coping styles in the relationship between anxiety and health behaviors of obese adolescents

Obesity is one of the major health problems in adolescents. Health-detrimental lifestyle (i.e. lack of physical activity, inappropriate nutrition) as well as maladaptive styles of coping with stress are regarded as belonging among determinants of obesity. The aim of the study was to establish factors mediating between anxiety and diet-related health behaviors. Participants in the study were 113 adolescents with obesity whose body weight was over 97th centile. They were examined using a set of self-report questionnaires to measure anxiety, coping styles and health behaviors. Emotion-focused coping and seeking social contacts (social diversion) were found to act as mediators between adolescents' trait anxiety and their health behaviors. The findings suggest that to enhance obese adolescents' health-promoting behaviors appropriate conditions should be ensured that would not only enable them to express their emotions, but also promote their socializing with peers.

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Polish Psychological Bulletin

The Journal of Committee for Psychological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences

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