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Past Projects


Adiposity in childhood and adolescence: a computer-based training program for the enhancement of self-control abilities

Suported by DRV
Leader: Prof. Dr. Petra Warschburger
Research: M. Sc. Michalea Gmeiner, M. Sc. Marisa Morawietz
Timeline: Januar 2014 - September 2017

In research about adiposity, self-regulatory skills are discussed as relevant factors affecting the development and maintenance of adiposity. Compared to normal normal-weight peers, obese children and adolescents show deficits in their self-regulatory skills. Past research in the area of alcoholism showed that computer-based training programs increase the participants' self-control abilities and are associated with higher therapy success rates. Within our project we will examine in two stages if these positive results are also applicable for the handling of high-calorie food by obese children. During a 12 month pilot phase the presentation materials will be developed and tested for their trainability and acceptance in a small sample (n=30). Subsequent to the pilot phase, the training program will be tested for its effectiveness in a controlled study with 162 obese children and adolescents (226 incl. drop out). In addition to the measurement of indicators of self-control abilities we will especially focus on the BMI-SDS-progress 6 and 12 months after the end of the rehabilitation. If our tests prove to be successful, we could provide a program that contributes to the long-term improvement of therapy success in an economic manner.


  • AHG Klinik für Kinder und Jugendliche Beelitz-Heilstätten, Beelitz-Heilstätten
  • Edelsteinklinik - Fachklinik für Kinder- und Jugendrehabilitation, Bruchweiler
  • Spessart-Klinik Bad Orb GmbH, Bad Orb
  • Viktoriastift Bad Kreuznach, Bad Kreuznach

Development and Evaluation of an Age-Appropriate Training Program for Obese Adolescents and Young Adults (YOUTH)

Sponsored by BMBF
Leader: Prof. Dr. Petra Warschburger
Research: Dipl.-Psych. Kristin Deddner (bis 2015), Xiaoxi Li (ab 2015)
Timeline: Februar 2011 - März 2016

This project aims to develop and evaluate an intervention program specifically designed for obese adolescents aged 16 - 21 (YOUTH). Its focus lies on age-appropriate encouragement of self-management skills, to ensure long-lasting therapeutic success after inpatient rehabilitation. In advance of the program development, 20 qualitative interviews with obese adolescents and a questionnaire survey with 100 male and female youths will be accomplished, asking them about their needs and wishes regarding such program. Based on these investigations and in line with preliminary work, we will develop an interactive, patient-oriented program. In order to evaluate the program's short (6 months) and long term (12 months) effectiveness concerning the weight status (primary outcome, BMI-SDS) and quality of life (secondary outcome), a controlled intervention study will be conducted with 125 adolescents. The control group will be a "treatment as usual" group due to ethical and contextual reasons (training programs are already established and successful), including all age groups and the conventional training implemented in all facilities. At the time of the follow-up, significant differences between both groups are expected, i.e. the study group shows a more favorable progression in terms of the BMI-status and quality of life. Predictors of therapy success will be analyzed.


  • Charlottenhall Rehabilitations- und Vorsorgeklinik gGmbH, Bad Salzungen
  • Edelsteinklinik - Fachklinik für Kinder- und Jugendrehabilitation, Bruchweiler
  • Hochgebirgsklinik Mittelberg Rehaklinik für Kinder und Jugendliche und Mutter-Kind-Klinik, Oy-Mittelberg
  • Kinder-Reha-Klinik "Am Nicolausholz", Bad Kösen
  • Ostseestrandklinik "Klaus Störtebeker", KölpinseeSpessart-Klinik Bad Orb GmbH, Bad Orb
  • Viktoriastift Bad Kreuznach, Bad Kreuznach

Beim Deutschen Register Klinischer Studien (DRKS) ist das Projekt unter der ID DRKS00003424 registriert und öffentlich einsehbar und ebenso im Suchportal der WHO sichtbar.



Polyunsaturated fatty acids in child nutrition - A German multimodal child care optimisation study: Psychological and sensoric aspects (PINGU study)

Sponsored by BMBF
Leader: Prof. Dr. Petra Warschburger
Research: Dr. Katja Kröller
Timeline: Juli 2012 - Dezember 2013

The basis for taste preferences are established within the earliest infancy. Therefore, a repeated exposure to different foods is important. Recent studies have shown that exposure to a variety of tastes in vegetables increases the acceptance of vegetable as well as in new foods in childhood. A repeated exposure to various tastes leads to the development of preferences (mere exposure effect). Up to now, hardly any studies exist probing the issue of how maternal attitudes and feeding strategies influence food preferences in infants. Within a broadly based and multicenter study, through examining the effects of an early introduction of fish-containing food, such influence on the child's taste preference will be examined. In the process, pairs of mothers and their children will be videotaped during a feeding and taste preferences will be evaluated.



Empowering parents of obese children: development and controlled evaluation of an obesity specific parenting skills training

Sponsored by DFG
Leader: Prof. Dr. Petra Warschburger
Research: Dr. Katja Kröller; Dipl.-Psych. Ivonne Döring, Dipl-Psych. Annekatrin Hudjetz
Timeline: April 2007 - März 2013

The study’s main goal is to research the effects of a parent training program with parents of obese children (7-12 years old) on the child’s weight course, the required modification strategies and on the parental psychosocial strain and self-efficacy.In a randomized, multicentral, prospective design, 250 parents take part in a behavior therapeutical training and get written information, while the control group only gets the written information material.The intervention program is primary based on presenting and imparting possibilities to support the child with the required diet and exercise modification, which is practiced in role-playing with video feedback.The children of both groups participate in an inpatient setting in an established program for weight control. Surveys and medical examinations at six measurement points (pre and post inpatient treatment of the children and at the 6- and 12-month follow-up) give information about the development of psychosocial and weight-related factors of the children and their parents. It has been hypothesized that the inclusion of additional parent training would lead to an improved long-term weight course of obese children.

Publications from this project:

Warschburger, P., Döring, I. & Hudjetz, A. (2013). "Gemeinsam fit" - das Elterntraining Adipositas. Ein Trainingsprogramm für Eltern von übergewichtigen und normalgewichtigen Kindern und Jugendlichen. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

Warschburger, P., Kröller, K., Unverzagt, S. & Haerting, J. (2013). What is the parents' part in long-term weight management of their obese child? Results from the EPOC study. Obesity Facts 6(1), Supplement, 230.

Warschburger, P. (2012). Elternschulung als Möglichkeit zur Verbesserung der Nachhaltigkeit in der stationären Rehabilitation. Prävention und Rehabilitation, 24, 97-102.

Warschburger, P., Kröller, K. & Kühne, D. (2012). Welche Rolle spielen Eltern bei der langfristigen Gewichtsentwicklung ihrer adipösen Kinder? Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde, 160(1), Supplement, 63- 64.

Warschburger, P., Kühne, D. & Kröller, K. (2012). Spielen Eltern eine Rolle bei der langfristigen Gewichtsentwicklung adipöser Kinder? Erste Ergebnisse der EPOC-Studie. Pädiatrische Praxis, 79, 185-192.

Döring, I. & Warschburger, P. (2010). Zurück aus der Reha. Veränderung subjektiver Krankheitskonzepte und Bewältigungsstrategien adipöser Kinder. Obesity Facts, 3 (Suppl 1), 37.

Hudjetz, A. & Warschburger, P. (2010). Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede mütterlicher, väterlicher und kindlicher Ernährung und Bewegung. Obesity Facts, 3 (Suppl 1), 28-29.

Staar, B., Gringmuth-Dallmer, F., Hudjetz, A. & Warschburger, P. (2010). Was versprechen sich adipöse Kinder und Jugendliche von einer Rehamaßnahme? - Ist Gewichtsreduktion alles? Obesity Facts, 3 (Suppl 1), 36-37.

Volkhammer, A., Hudjetz, A. & Warschburger, P. (2010). Untersuchung des modellierenden Einflusses von Peers und Eltern auf das Ernährungsverhalten von Jugendlichen. Obesity Facts, 3 (Suppl 1), 56-57.

Warschburger, P. & Hudjetz, A. (2010). Sagen psychosoziale Variablen den Gewichtsverlust während einer stationären Rehabilitation voraus? Obesity Facts, 3 (Suppl 1), 17.

Warschburger, P., Hudjetz, A. & Döring, I. (2009). Elternarbeit. In C. von Hagen & H.-P. Schwarz (Hrsg.), Psychische Entwicklung bei chronischer Krankheit im Kindes- und Jugendalter. (S.269-281). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

Warschburger, P., Döring, I. & Hudjetz, A. (2007). Gemeinsam fit. Arbeitsbuch zur Stärkung von Eltern adipöser Kinder. Potsdam: Universitätsverlag.



Socio-cultural factors and eating disorders in adolescence – Evaluation of a school-based prevention program

Sponsored by BMBF
Leader: Prof. Dr. Petra Warschburger
Research: Dipl.-Psych. Eva Bonekamp, Dipl-Psych. Susanne Rudolf
Timeline: Juli 2006 - Mai 2010

Dissatisfaction of the own appearance and physique are common among young people. Unfortunately, it is not often kept at these worries but in many cases, the adolescents resort to unhealthy ways to control their weight. In a high percentage of young people, a conspicuous eating behavior was determined.  Preventive approaches offer the possibility to counter against this development by time.The aim of this project is to determine the dispersion of bodily dissatisfaction and disturbed eating behavior among adolescents and to identify risk factors and protective factors for development. A school-based prevention program will be developed based by this goal. In order to promote a healthy problem-management and the pressures of social beauty ideals, the concept is mainly aimed at strengthening the resources of the adolescents (e.g. self-esteem, problem-management skills or social skills). The program is for students of grades 7 to 9 and is implemented by their teachers in the classes. The evaluation of the prevention program is organized within a longitudinal control group design with a survey for the students before the participation, and three months or rather one year after the participation in the program.

Publications from this project:
Helfert, S. & Warschburger, P. (2013). The Face of Appearance-related Social Pressure: Gender, Age and Body Mass Variations in Peer and Parental Pressure during Adolescence. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 7(1), 16. doi:10.1186/1753-2000-7-16.

Hilbert, A., Buerger, A., Hartmann, A. S., Spenner, K., Czaja, J. & Warschburger, P. (2013). Psychometric Evaluation of the Eating Disorder Examination Adapted for Children. European Eating Disorders Review, 21 (4), 330–339. doi: 10.1002/erv.2221

Helfert, S. & Warschburger, P. (2011). A prospective study on the impact of peer and parental pressure on body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls and boys. Body Image, 8 (2), 101-109.

Krentz, E.M. & Warschburger, P. (2011). A longitudinal investigation of sports-related risk factors for disordered eating in aesthetic sports. Scandinavian Journal of Medical Science in Sports, doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01380.x

Krentz, E.M. & Warschburger, P. (2011). Sports-related correlates of disordered eating in aesthetic sports. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12, 375-382. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.03.004

Krentz, E.M. & Warschburger, P. (2011). Sports-Related Correlates of Disordered Eating: A Comparison between Aesthetic and Ballgame Sports. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 42.

Mohnke, S. & Warschburger, P. (2011). Körperunzufriedenheit bei weiblichen und männlichen Jugendlichen: Eine geschlechtervergleichende Betrachtung von Verbreitung, Prädiktoren und Folgen. Praxis Kinderpsychologie & Kinderpsychiatrie, 60, 285-303.

Warschburger, P., Helfert, S. & Krentz, E.-M. (2011). POPS: a school-based prevention programme for eating disorders. Journal of Public Health, 19, 367-376. DOI 10.1007/s10389-011-0425-3

Warschburger, P. (2011). Psychische Gesundheitsförderung im Jugendalter. In KKH-Allianz (Hrsg.). Weißbuch Prävention 2010/2011. Gesund jung?!. Herausforderung für die Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung bei Jugendlichen und jungen Erwachsenen. (S.153-159). Berlin: Springer.

Warschburger, P. (2010). Körperunzufriedenheit und gestörtes Essverhalten bei Jugendlichen. Praxis Klinische Verhaltensmedizin und Rehabilitation, 85, 152-158.

Helfert, S. & Warschburger, P. (2009). Fragebogen zum aussehensbezogenen sozialen Druck (FASD). Klinische Diagnostik und Evaluation, 3, 205-220.




Prevention of infantile obesity: what detains and what facilitates the access to prevention offers for parents? – Basis for the conception of a prevention offer for social disadvantaged risk groups

Sponsored by BMBF
Leader: Prof. Dr. Petra Warschburger
Research: Dipl.-Psych. Dörte Jahnke, Dipl-Psych. Katja Kröller
Timeline: April 2005 - Juni 2009

This study is about the selective prevention of mothers with children (3-6 years old) with a higher risk of obesity (obese parent, low socio-economic status and parental educational background). In the context of qualitative (focus interview) and quantitative (questionnaire) investigations, the mothers were measured and analyzed concerning their decision processes in making use of available offers. Based on the findings, a parent training program for parents of children with a higher risk of obesity was developed. This prevention concept was evaluated concerning its acceptance and its operability.

Publications from this project:
Warschburger, P., Kröller, K. & Jahnke, D. (2013). Prävention kindlicher Adipositas: Was verhindert und erleichtert Eltern den Zugang zu Präventionsangeboten? Gesundheitswesen.

Warschburger, P. & Kröller, K. (2012). Childhood overweight and obesity: Maternal perceptions of the associated health risks and the need for action. BMC Public Health, 12, 295. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-295.

Kröller, K. & Warschburger, P. (2010). "Clevere Eltern - Fitte Kinder". Ein niedrigschwelliges Präventionsprogramm in Kindertagesstätten. Verhaltenstherapie mit Kindern und Jugendlichen, 6(1), 5-15.

Kröller, K. & Warschburger, P. (2009). Maternal feeding strategies and child"s food intake: Considering weight and demographic influences using structural equation modeling. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 6, 78-86.

Kröller, K. & Warschburger, P. (2009). ISS - ein Instrument zur Erfassung elterlicher Steuerungsstrategien in der Essenssituation. Diagnostica, 55, 135-143.

Warschburger, P. & Kröller, K. (2009). Die Rolle der Eltern bei der Entwicklung des kindlichen Bewegungsverhaltens. In A. Horn (Hrsg.), Körperkultur (Bd. 2). (S.191-204). Schorndorf: Hofmann.

Warschburger, P., & Kröller, K. (2009). Maternal Perception of Weight Status and Health Risks Associated With Obesity in Children. Pediatrics, 124, e60-e68.

Warschburger, P., & Richter, M. (2009). Prävention kindlichen Übergewichts: Elterliche Selbstwirksamkeit und Handlungsergebniserwartungen. Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie, 17, 22-29.

Warschburger, P., & Richter, M. (2009). Gesunde Ernährung undBewegung: Was verhindert und erleichtert Müttern den Zugang zuPräventionsangeboten? Aktuelle Ernährungsmedizin, 34, 88-94.

Jahnke, D. & Warschburger, P. (2008). Familial transmission of eating behaviors in preschool-aged children. Obesity, 16, 1821-1825.

Kröller, K. & Warschburger, P. (2008). Associations between maternal feeding style and food intake of children with higher risk for overweight. Appetite, 51, (S. 166-172).




Evaluation of a cognitive-behavioral pain coping training for children with chronic abdominal pain: a randomized controlled trail

Leader: Prof. Dr. Petra Warschburger
Research: Dipl.-Psych. M. Groß

PhD scholarship in the context of "Graduate School of Developmental Psychopathology and Evidence-based Intervention" (Speaker: Prof. Dr. G. Esser & Prof. Dr. P. Warschburger)

Functional abdominal pain (FAP) is a very frequent childhood complaint; besides headache, it represents the most common pain syndrome in childhood with prevalence rates up to 30.8%. FAP often leads to functional disability, poor school attendance and a number of unnecessary, cost-intensive visits in medical care facilities. Children with recurrent episodes of abdominal pain may have a worse quality of life and self-esteem and experience greater anxiety and depression. Psychosocial factors in symptom maintenance include coping styles, family functioning and parental behaviors. Untreated, FAP is highly persistent till adulthood; also leading to increased risk of psychiatric disorders. These data emphasize the need for evidence-based treatment approaches for FAP. The overall aim of this study is to examine the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral training program for children with FAP.

Publications from this project:
Groß, M. & Warschburger, P. (2013). Chronische Bauchschmerzen: Psychosoziale Belastung und behandlungsinduzierte Veränderungen in der Krankheitsbewältigung. Verhaltenstherapie, 23, 80-89. doi: 10.1159/000351215.

Groß, M. & Warschburger, P. (2013). Evaluation of a Cognitive-Behavioral Pain Management Program for Children with Chronic Abdominal Pain: A Randomized-Controlled Study. International Behavioral Medicine, 20, 434-443. doi: 10.1007/s12529-012-9228-3.

Groß, M. & Warschburger, P. (2012). Chronische Bauchschmerzen im Kindesalter. Das "Stopp den Schmerz mit Happy-Pingu"-Programm. Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Warschburger, P. & Groß, M. (2012). "Stopp den Schmerz mit Happy-Pingu" – Evaluation eines kognitiv-behavioralen Schmerzbewältigungsprogramms für Kinder mit chronischen Bauchschmerzen. Monatsschrift Kinderheilkunde, 160(1), Supplement, 197- 198.

Groß, M. & Warschburger, P. (2012). Chronische Bauchschmerzen im Kindesalter. Das "Stopp den Schmerz mit Happy-Pingu"-Programm. Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Warschburger, P. & Groß, M. (2008). «Stopp den Schmerz» - ein kognitiv-behaviorales Behandlungsprogramm für Kinder mit Bauchschmerzen. Verhaltenstherapie, 18, 162-167.