Rebecca Shakour

Student NameRebecca Shakour
Faculty Mentor NameDr. Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD
CollegeCollege of Medicine
Research InterestsObesity and Overweight in Adolescents, Preventative Medicine, Impact of COVID-19 on Research Participants
Academic AwardsFlorida Academic Scholar, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s List
OrganizationsGator Emergency Medical Response Unit, Dance Marathon
Hobbies and InterestsRunning, Baking, Tutoring

Research Project

Assessing the Relationship Between ACEs, Weight Status, and Self-Efficacy in Adolescents with Overweight and Obesity?

Since 1998 when the first study regarding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) was published, a growing body of evidence has demonstrated the negative impacts of childhood trauma on health status, including increased risk for overweight/obesity (OW/OB). Research shows a greater number of ACEs consistently correlates to increased prevalence of OW/OB, as well as risk for learning and behavioral problems. However, there is a limited amount of data examining the extent to which weight loss interventions are effective for adolescents who have suffered from these traumatic experiences. Dr. Michelle Cardel’s study investigates the effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle intervention using acceptance-based therapy (ABT) on changes in weight and body composition, cardiometabolic health, and self-efficacy among adolescents with OW/OB. In her intervention, adolescents ages 14-19 learn self-regulation and mindfulness skills, as well as effective strategies for weight loss. My proposal utilizes the data from this study to examine the extent to which ACEs moderate the impact of a weight loss intervention in adolescents with OW/OB. With more than 90% of youth experiencing an ACE by age fourteen, information on the efficacy of weight loss programs for adolescents who have suffered ACEs will be vital to effectively addressing these issues in future interventions.