Relationship between Attachment Style and Body Mass Index of Children using Ex-Post Facto Research Design SC13-SC17
Dr. Uma Joshi,
205, Sterling Apartment, B6B Prithviraj Road, C-Scheme, Jaipur-302001, Rajasthan, India.
Introduction: ‘Attachment’ refers to a child’s relationship with and the need for its parent, which sets the base for all future relationship patterns and interactions. Underweight and obesity are recognised as complex problems emerging from genetics, poor nutrition, developmental processes, life experiences and lifestyle. Higher and lower than normal Body Mass Index (BMI) at an early age is associated with many negative health outcomes, concurrent as well as later in life. Few studies place BMI within the framework of the Internal Working Model of attachment theory due to its power in regulating feeding and emotions in caregiver/parents relationships with their children, to the best of authors knowledge none compare the attachment style of the contrast group of obese, normal and underweight children within the Indian setting in the same study.
Aim: To investigate the effect of attachment style on BMI of children.
Materials and Methods: Information on attachment style (Ricky Finzi-Dottan, 2012) and BMI (Omron model-HBF212) was collected from 217 early adolescents (10-14-year-old, in Grade IV-IX) from three private schools of Jaipur. The sample was divided into three groups as per BMI specifications of Indian Academy of Paediatrics. Further, contrast group comparison of underweight, overweight and normal weight adolescents was identified and computed with the chi-square analysis.
Results: Results confirmed that insecure attachment style is associated with higher than normal BMI (overweight/obesity), whereas, children with normal BMI showed secure attachment style. However, no specific trend of attachment style could be identified among children with below normal BMI (underweight). The result was found to be significant (?2 =35.787, df=2, p<0.01).
Conclusion: Findings suggest that attachment style with parents/caregiver during the early years are of vital importance in contributing towards shaping the future course of eating, feeding pattern, developmental trajectory leading to a healthy or unhealthy style of life and accumulation of specific experiences, modus operandi to face challenges leading to problems like obesity or overweight.