The dual role of friendship and antipathy relations in the marginalization of overweight children in their peer networks: The TRAILS Study
OPEN PloS one | 8 Jun 2017
K de la Haye, JK Dijkstra, MJ Lubbers, L van Rijsewijk and R Stolk
Weight-based stigma compromises the social networks of overweight children. To date, research on the position of overweight children in their peer network has focused only on friendship relations, and not on negative relationship dimensions. This study examined how overweight was associated with relations of friendship and dislike (antipathies) in the peer group. Exponential random graph models (ERGM) were used to examine friendship and antipathy relations among overweight children and their classmates, using a sub-sample from the TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (N = 504, M age 11.4). Findings showed that overweight children were less likely to receive friendship nominations, and were more likely to receive dislike nominations. Overweight children were also more likely than their non-overweight peers to nominate classmates that they disliked. Together, the results indicate that positive and negative peer relations are impacted by children’s weight status, and are relevant to addressing the social marginalization of overweight children.
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