Eating behaviors associated with perceptions of stress among school-age children
Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing
Eating has been theorized to be useful as a coping strategy in response to stressful situations. However, investigation of this behavior in children is limited. The present study is a secondary cross-sectional analysis of longitudinal data that were collected from cohorts of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grader students. Perceived stress was correlated with unhealthy eating behaviors (r = .13, p < .001), as well as with the use of eating as a coping mechanism (r = .24, p < .001). Hispanic children reported using eating as a coping mechanism most frequently, followed by African-American and Caucasian children. School-age children who experience high levels of stress may be at risk for developing unhealthy eating habits in order to cope; continued examination of these relationships is suggested. Future research should focus on the development of interventions to encourage positive coping mechanisms and healthy eating behaviors.
Sternglanz, W. R.
(2005). Eating behaviors associated with perceptions of stress among school-age children. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 28, 175-191.
Available at: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/1192