Overweight, Depression and Self - Esteem Among Senior Elementary School Children

Main Article Content

Pornwan Inudon
Kanyarat Korwanich
Araya Pontanya
Chidchanok Ruengorn


Objective: To evaluate relationships between overweight, depression and self – esteemamong senior elementary school children.

Materials and methods:  This cross-sectional analytical study recruited all primary school students in grade 4 to 6 who registered in second semester of the year 2016 fromKhueanbhumibolschool, Takprovince.  Overweight was determined using Growth indicators of Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health version of the year 1999 and BMI for age from the World Health Organization. Depression and self-esteem was screened using the Thai version of Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI), and the Thai version of The Five-Scale Test of Self-Esteem for Children (FSC), respectively. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation linear regression, and logistic regressionstatistics were used to analyze the data.

Results:Of 153 subjects, most of all were girls (54.9%), age between 10-12 years old, grade point average over 2.00 (82.4%), parents live together (66.2%). Overweight was found in 23 students (15.0%).Depression (CDI score over 15.0) was revealed in 56 students (36.6%). Overweight students had the prevalence of 34.8%compared to 36.9% in those having normal weight. No association between overweight and depression score was found when analyzed as mean and binary outcome (Adj. β – 0.28; 95 % CI - 2.59 - 2.04, p=0.815, Adj. OR 0.98; 95%CI 0.29-3.27, p=0.970). According to self-esteem, overweight students had mean score less than those with normal weight especially in “image” domain, though statistical significance was not found, with Person’s correlation coefficient (r) -0.086 (p=0.288). However, the results revealed the reverse statistical significance association between depression scale and self-esteem scale (r = -0.653, p<0.01).

Conclusion:  Overweight has non-significant association between depression and self-esteem. However, depression and self-esteem has statistically significant inverse relationship. Overweight children have body image dissatisfaction which significantly direct lower self-esteem and may increase depression. In addition, relatively high prevalence of depression in this group of children should shed the light to health personnel and parents or guardians to further systematically set depression screening in place.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Original article (นิพนธ์ต้นฉบับ)


1. World Health Organization. Facts and figures on childhood obesity 2017 [online].
Available from: http://www.who.int/end-childhood-obesity/facts/en/. [2018 Mar 15].

2. World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight 2017 [online]. Available from:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/. [2018 Mar 15].

3. Tuchinda C. The situation of obesity in children. Department of mental health
Ministry of Public Health 2004 [online]. Available from: http://www.dmh.go.th/news/
view.asp?id=848. [2014 May 5]. (in Thai)

4. Jetsrisuparb A. Pediatric obesity and overweight 2012 [online]. Available from:
http://haamor.com/th/Obesity and overweight children. [2014 May 5]. (in Thai)

5. Werrij MQ, Mulkens S, Hospers HJ, Jansen A. Overweight and obesity: the
significance of a depressed mood. Patient Educ Couns 2006;62:126-31.

6. Sattayatam P. Child mental health. Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University; 1992.
(in Thai)

7. Rodthong Y. A study on comparative self-esteem in six grader students. [M. Ed.
thesis]. Bangkok: Srinakharinwirot University; 2013. (in Thai)

8. Chiamprakhon S. The Development of self-esteem contemplative process of Rajabhat Phetchabun University students [M. Ed. thesis]. Phetchabun: Phetchabun Rajabhat University; 2556. (in Thai)

9. Putthisri S, Silpakit C. The reliability and validity of Thai version of five-scale test of
self-esteem for children. J Psychiatr Assoc Thailand 2541;43:336-58. (in Thai)

10. Trangkasombat U, Likanapichitkul D. Depressive Symptoms in Children. J Psychiatr Assoc Thailand 1996;41:221-30. (in Thai)

11. Wisitpongaree C, Kolkijkovin V, Techakasem P. Depression in primary school students in Dusit District, Bangkok. Vajira Med J. 2014;58:43-53. (in Thai)

12. Putthisri S, Chatchawan S. The reliability and validity of Thai version of five-scale test of self-esteem for children. J Psychiatr Assoc Thailand. 1998;43:358-67. (in Thai)

13. Department of health.The health promotion school. [online]. Available from: http://eng.-anamai.moph.go.th/main.php?filename=02_thps. [2017 Oct 30].

14. Trangkasombat U, Likanapichitkul D. Depression in junior high school students in the Bangkok metropolis. J Psychiatr Assoc Thailand. 1996;41:162-73. (in Thai)

15. Wacharasindhu A, Panyyayong B. Psychiatric disorders in Thai school-aged children: prevalence. J Med Assoc Thai 2002;85:125-36. (in Thai)

16. Sheslow D, Hassink S, Wallace W, DeLancey E. The relationship between self‐esteem and depression in obese children. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1993;699:289-91.

17. Wallace WJ, Sheslow D, Hassink S. Obesity in children: a risk for depression. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1993;699:301-3.

18. Luppino FS, de Wit LM, Bouvy PF, Stijnen T, Cuijpers P, Penninx BW, et al. Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67:220-9.

19. Kostanski M, Gullone E. Adolescent body image dissatisfaction: relationships with self-esteem, anxiety, and depression controlling for body mass. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1998;39:255-62.

20. Mendelson BK, White DR. Relation between body - esteem and self - esteem of obese and normal children. Percept Mot Skills 1982;54:899-905.

21. French SA, Story M, Perry CL. Self - esteem and obesity in children and adolescents: a literature review. Obesity 1995;3:479-90.

22. Pierce JW, Wardle J. Cause and effect beliefs and self - esteem of overweight children. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1997;38:645-50.

23. Franklin J, Denyer G, Steinbeck KS, Caterson ID, Hill AJ. Obesity and risk of low self - esteem: a statewide survey of Australian children. Pediatrics 2006;118:2481-7.

24. Battle J. Relationship between self - esteem and depression among high school students. Percept Mot Skills 1980;51(1):157-8.

25. Battle J. Relationship between self-esteem and depression. Psychological Reports 1978;42:745-6.

26. Kaewkangwal S. Developmental psychology. 4thed. Bangkok: Prakayphruk; 1987. (in Thai)

27. Rithakananone P. Human development. Bangkok: Thammada Place; 2006. (in Thai)

28. Chan-em S. Developmental psychology. Bangkok: Thaiwatanapanich; 1977. (in Thai)

29. Biby EL. The relationship between body dysmorphic disorder and depression, self –esteem, somatization, and obsessive–compulsive disorder. J Clin Psychol 1998; 54(4):489-99.

30. Na Young S, Sup Shin M. Body dissatisfaction, self - esteem, and depression in obese Korean children. J Pediatr 2008;152:502-6.