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Open Access Open Badges Research

Child-rated versus parent-rated quality of life of community-based obese children across gender and grade

Chia-Ting Su1, Jung-Der Wang23 and Chung-Ying Lin4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei, Taiwan

2 Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan

3 Departments of Internal Medicine and Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan

4 Institute of Allied Health Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2013, 11:206  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-206

Published: 10 December 2013



Quality of life (QoL), which can be examined using self-reports or parental reports, might help healthcare providers understand obese children’s subjective well-being in several domains of life. Community-based obese children report their QoL lower than their parents do. However, the differences between child- and parent-reported QoL have neither been tested across gender and grade nor analyzed by item. This study probed the relationship between obesity and QoL item scores in children, and compared child-reported with parent-reported QoL stratified by gender and grade.


One hundred eighty-seven dyads of 8- to 12-year-old children (60 obese, 127 normal-weight) and their parents were recruited. QoL was assessed using both child- and parent-reported Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 (PedsQL) questionnaires.


Regression analyses showed specific difficulties with physical and emotional QoL in third- and fourth-grade obese boys (β = 0.278-0.620), and specific problems with social functioning in fifth- and sixth-grade obese girls (β = 0.337-0.411). Moreover, parents seemed unaware of the specific difficulties that their children faced (β = 0.274-0.435).


Obese children seemed to have their difficulties from third to fifth grade, respectively, and their parents seemed unaware of them. Thus, parents need to be more aware of specific difficulties related to childhood obesity.

Obese; Pediatric; Quality of life; Self-report; Proxy report