WU Wk 8 Psychological Impacts of Illness Childhood Obesity & Diabetes Discussions

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Walden University


Respond by Day 5 to at least two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

Share an insight gained from having read your colleague’s post about the psychosocial impact of the illness he or she selected.

Refute or validate your colleague’s post about the interventions and suggest additional intervention strategies.

Be sure to use reference. (has to be different for each response)



Post a brief description of the illness and its overall impact on the well-being of a young patient and his or her family.

Childhood obesity is a serious health crisis. Over the past two decades, the prevalence of overweight children in our nation between ages 6 and 11 has doubled, and among teenagers it has tripled.The annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about one-third of all American children are overweight or nearly so. When children overeat, it causes obesity and this issue leads to other medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Many co-morbid conditions like metabolic, cardiovascular, orthopedic, neurological, hepatic, pulmonary, and renal disorders are also seen in association with childhood obesity (Khadilkar, Khadilkar . 2004). Family factors have also been associated with the increase of cases of obesity. The types of food available in the house and the food preferences of family members can influence the foods that children eat. In addition, family mealtimes can influence the type of food consumed and the amount thereof.

Explain how child obesity may disrupt or influence the biological, psychological, and social growth and development of the child or adolescent.

Childhood obesity can have effect on children in so many ways. A research study concluded that overweight and obese children were four times more likely to report having problems at school than their normal weight peers (Schwimmer, Burwinkle, Varni,2003). Childhood obesity can profoundly affect children's physical health, social, and emotional well-being, and self-esteem. Obese children have lower self-esteem while others do not. Depression may be both a cause and a consequence of obesity.[31] Additionally, in a clinical sample of obese adolescents, a higher life-time prevalence of anxiety disorders was reported compared to non-obese controls (Anderson and Butcher 2006).

Identify at least three primary stressors (e.g., complications, hospitalization) related to the obesity. Select one of the stressors that you think is critical.

Three stressors related to childhood obesity is health, financial, and problems at school. Health is a critical stressor. Obesity can affect health both in childhood and as it develops into an adult. Here are some of the immediate health risks linked to obesity in children and young adults. Not only does obesity cause certain immediate health risks, but it can also contribute to future health risks. For example, children who are overweight or obese are much more likely to become obese adults. Furthermore, if an obese child becomes an obese adult, both his excess weight and the associated disease risk factors are typically more severe.

Analyze possible pediatric social work interventions that might be applied to address the stressor.

Social worker intervention that might be applied to address childhood obesity is health education and family outreach. Social workers must focus on both diet and exercise in the communities where children live and go to school since the environment is a key contributor to obesity risk. Focusing on the community is especially important for children since they generally have little or no control over their environment.

Anderson PM, Butcher KE. Childhood obesity: Trends and potential causes. Future Child. 2006;16:19–45.

Khadilkar VV, Khadilkar AV. Prevalence of obesity in affluent school boys in Pune. Indian Pediatr. 2004;41:857–8.

Schwimmer JB, Burwinkle TM, Varni JW. Health-related quality of life of severely obese children and adolescents. JAMA. 2003; 289:1813–9.

DB 2—


Post a brief description of the illness and its overall impact on the well-being of a young patient and his or her family.

While I do not have any experience in social work or healthcare working with children, it is a very important role as the needs of children can be quite complex and requires a dynamic approach. Diabetes, in particular, is a chronic illness that often requires significant lifestyle changes, education, and management that can carry throughout one’s life. Diabetes for children can cause a significant impact on their own mental and physical health in addition to the health of their families as they all attempt to adjust to a lifestyle with medical management, further need for education, and added stress (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Self-management, however, is an important area for children managing diabetes as it is critical as this disease progresses and must be managed to minimize the impact on health (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Working with the family, however, can be beneficial to ensuring that all household members are aware of the recommendations, challenges, and goals of this treatment and management of the disease (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Overall, diabetes carries many implications aside from the physical health of a child and requires supportive professionals to promote quality of life and well-being for all impacted by the disease and management of a chronic illness.

Explain how the illness may disrupt or influence the biological, psychological, and social growth and development of the child or adolescent.

As children age, their needs, strengths, and challenges often shift as they gain independence and develop new social and emotional habits. Diabetic management is notably more difficult during puberty related to both behavioral changes and physical changes as blood sugars often vary more during this time (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Additionally, as a child ages and addresses their ongoing need for diabetic management, behavior management can be a helpful tool for managing their needs and ensuring appropriate self-management (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). It is likely that children, as they age, will have some challenges with managing a diabetic lifestyle as they adjust to new activities, changes in social settings, resistance to recommendations, and a want to simply treat diabetes rather than being proactive (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). With the support of family, educational support, and providers in the community, this can be minimized to ensure adherence to treatment and lifelong teaching to promote health.

Identify at least three primary stressors (e.g., complications, hospitalization) related to the illness.

Managing a chronic illness, regardless of age, can be challenging. For children, however, it’s important to consider the impact on the child and their family as struggles are quite dynamic and have many layers. There are several complications that are possible including challenges with the healthcare costs, lack of education, and also the relationship between parents and the child with diabetes.

Access to healthcare, medications, and supplies remains a challenge for individuals and their families as they struggle to maintain the basic needs to manage diabetes (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). As seen throughout healthcare, the cost of treatment and supplies if diabetes is often unmanageable, causing individuals to go without the necessities. Being aware of the stressor of affording healthcare is important in working with parents of children with diabetes to ensure they have the resources needed to maintain their health.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the challenges related to lack of education related to diabetes (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Lack of education often leads to greater challenges for both children and parents as they attempt to manage a disease they are unfamiliar with. As children age, it’s also important that they be involved in the educational process so that they are able to focus on self-management as they become more independent in their decision making as well (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Ongoing education throughout the life course will also be important as the body and mind grow.

Also, the stressor of the parent and child relationship can be challenged as individuals age. While parents may primarily be managing diabetes when the child is young, as the child ages, they are to be more involved in their disease management. While it’s important that parents be involved in the treatment and education, this can be a struggle as children attempt to be more independent and may struggle to manage this new independence with the impact of diabetes (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Overall, managing this relationship is important to ensuring a successful transition as a child ages and to ensure a cohesive partnership between parent and child.

Select one of the stressors that you think is critical. Justify your selection.

The most critical stressor, to me, relates to access to healthcare and ongoing treatment. I personally have several family members that are diabetic and that were diagnosed with diabetes at young ages. The struggle to understand the diagnosis and have access to treatment is concerning. As individuals require testing strips, a glucometer, access to specialists, and appropriate follow up, these costs add up to be quite consuming. Parents may struggle to maintain financial well-being and fear lack of care for their children. Children whose families are low income, immigrants, or a minority are at a greater likelihood of being uninsured, therefore creating significant health disparities (Gehlert & Browne, 2019). Ensuring that all have access to healthcare and supplies could significantly improve the well-being of the child and their parents/caregivers.

Analyze possible pediatric social work interventions that might be applied to address the stressor.

As social workers, there are a variety of intervention models depending on the needs of the child. It is suggested that family be involved throughout treatment to ensure that all involved are engaged in training, planning, and goal setting (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014).

Behavior management may be an area that social workers can promote self-management and ensure well-being among individuals. As children age and take on more responsibility for their health, addressing their understanding of the disease and promoting good behaviors will be key to their long term success (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Positive approaches to healthcare are key to engagement in health management for children and adolescents (Gehlert & Browne, 2019). As children age and they face changes physically, socially, and emotionally, it may be difficult to manage diabetes, but behavior management can be a beneficial tool.

Another recommendation is to have a multidisciplinary team available to address the needs of the child as they work through the diagnosis and disease management including a physician, educator, nurses, and social workers (Dhada & Blackbeard, 2014). Holistic assessment is key to social work with any individuals managing chronic illnesses, including children as their dependence on others remains high.


Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (Eds.). (2019). Handbook of health social work (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Dhada, B., & Blackbeard, D. (2014). Using Intervention Mapping to Develop a Child Diabetes Support Intervention. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 113, 74–83. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1016/j.s...

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Psychological Impacts of Illness

Psychological Impact of Illness
Childhood obesity is a complex health condition that affects children, and adolescents,
however, it can persist to adulthood if not well managed. Childhood obesity occurs when the
weight of the child doesn’t correspond to the child’s height. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is the
accepted parameter used to access obesity in children and adults. Childhood obesity is attributed
to eating behaviors, sleeping patterns, medical conditions, medications, genetics, and living a
sedentary lifestyle (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).
Psychological Impacts of Childhood Obesity
Childhood obesity poses various impacts on the child’s development and general health.
Psychologically an obese child is likely to be disturbed by their physical outlook and other
possible conditions that may set in as a result of obesity. Childhood obesity is associated with
depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and frustration. These psychological impacts are as results
of limitations that obesity brings to the child such as limited participation in childhood activities,
chores, and discrimination by other children. More so, obese children are easily bullied and
isolated by others which further affects them psychol...

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