The results presented in “Appearance-Related Teasing and Substance Use During Early Adolescence” by Klinck et al. (2020) come from a longitudinal study of middle school students near Hartford, Connecticut. The purpose of the study was to determine if shape related teasing from family or peers could be a predicter for substance. The study had an 88% retention rate over the sixth-month period. As part of the methodology, the research incorporated the descriptive methods of questionnaires and surveys disseminated by research personnel to the students. The Appearance-Related Teasing Questionnaire from Levine et al. (1994) provided an average score for the amount of shape-related teasing from family peers. Six months later, students were given The Substance Use Survey developed by Ohannessian et al. (2015) to determine the quantity of alcohol consumed on an average day.
Other surveys were given that included demographic data, social status, depressive symptoms, body mass index data, and peer victimization to name a few. Obviously, a large portion of this study relied on self-reporting so the results are subject to bias from students not answering truthfully. The tables presented in this research provided a lot of different rich analysis pertaining to the correlations between survey variables including gender and weight comparisons. There were a lot of calculations presented that I recognized from high school statistic courses but the research became convoluted and very challenging to read.
Essentially, the phrase that stood out the most was that the “Results from this study indicate that more frequent appearance-related teasing was concurrently linked to higher total alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and marijuana use” (Klinck et al., 2020). Adolescent girls showed a higher correlation which is not surprising due to their body images during those defining middle school years. This article showed how challenging a longitudinal study can be from the first step of getting the parent consent forms for all of the students to dealing with absent students on survey days and then transient students when they returned six months later. Klinck et al. (2020) used their resources wisely to complete a strong cross-sectional study about gender and weight within the longitudinal study about appearance-related teasing and substance abuse, as well.
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