Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Marilou Shreve

Committee Member/Reader

Allison Scott

Committee Member/Second Reader

Michele Kilmer



Childhood obesity is a growing public health problem in the United States. An increasing number of children are becoming overweight or obese and facing the negative health issues from this diagnosis. They might also suffer socially due to their weight because they are more likely to be bullied or picked on. This project explored the perceptions and attitudes of health in Marshallese adolescents that are overweight in Northwest Arkansas. The goal of our project was to investigate themes for commonality amongst adolescents that are overweight about how they perceive their weight and their beliefs towards health and body image.


Surveys and focus groups using semi-structured questions were conducted with a total of 30 adolescents ages 11-17. The focus groups were multi-sex but were divided by age to ensure discussion with peers in the same developmental stages. Sessions were recorded using audio only and later transcribed word for word. The data collected from these focus groups was analyzed for themes.


The themes found were that nutrition, activity, attitudes and mental health affect the health of an individual. Depending on the age, adolescents also had differing views on who was responsible for their health.


Identifying common themes of health and weight among adolescents may help providers better communicate with Marshallese adolescents about their health and weight. Effective communication may enable adolescents to set and achieve effective goals to maintain a healthy body mass index and to achieve overall health.


childhood obesity, adolescents, Marshallese, Northwest Arkansas