Objectives: Adolescent military-dependents experience distinct risk and protective factors, which may necessitate additional clinical considerations. In civilian youth, overweight/obesity is associated with eating, internalizing, and externalizing difficulties, with some studies reporting more difficulties among non-Hispanic White (vs. non-Hispanic Black) youth. It is unknown if these disparities exist among adolescent military-dependents, or between civilian and military-dependent youth. Methods: Non-Hispanic Black (187 civilian, 38 military-dependent) and non-Hispanic White (205 civilian, 84 military-dependent) adolescents with overweight/obesity (14.7 ± 1.6 years; 73.9% girls; body mass index adjusted for age and sex 1.9 ± 0.5) completed a disordered-eating interview; parents completed a measure assessing their child's internalizing and externalizing difficulties. Multiple linear regressions examined parental military-status as a moderator of the relationship of participant race with eating, internalizing, and externalizing difficulties. Results: White civilian youth with overweight/obesity reported significantly greater disordered-eating than their Black peers (p <. 001); there were no other significant racial differences. In all regressions, parental military-status significantly moderated the association between race and each dependent variable (ps <. 047). Black military-dependents (vs. civilians) reported more disordered-eating and internalizing difficulties (ps =. 01). White military-dependents (vs. civilians) reported fewer externalizing difficulties (p =. 01). Conclusions: Black adolescent military-dependents with overweight/obesity may experience more eating and internalizing difficulties (vs. civilians), a pattern not observed among White participants. Future work should examine if being a military-dependent and a historically marginalized racial group member accounts for these findings. Such data may inform providers of youth with intersecting minority identities.
- Behavior problems