Associations between the physical and social environment and depressive symptomology among Australian adolescents

Kremer, Peter, Leslie, Evie, Williams, Jo and Toumbourou, J.W 2008, Associations between the physical and social environment and depressive symptomology among Australian adolescents, in 2008 : Physical and Mental Wellness - Integrative approaches to Health, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, W.A., pp. 52-63.

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Title Associations between the physical and social environment and depressive symptomology among Australian adolescents
Author(s) Kremer, PeterORCID iD for Kremer, Peter
Leslie, Evie
Williams, JoORCID iD for Williams, Jo
Toumbourou, J.WORCID iD for Toumbourou, J.W
Conference name Vario Health Conference (2008 : Edith Cowan University, W.A.)
Conference location Perth, W.A.
Conference dates 1 - 2 December 2008
Title of proceedings 2008 : Physical and Mental Wellness - Integrative approaches to Health
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2008
Conference series Vario Health Conference
Start page 52
End page 63
Total pages 12
Publisher Edith Cowan University
Place of publication Joondalup, W.A.
Summary Depression is a significant public health issue among Australian adolescents. A number of family, school and community level factors have been identified as important determinants of adolescent's health and well-being, including depression. This study examines associations between measures of the social and physical environment and adolescent mental health, specifically depressive symptomotology using data from the Healthy Neighbourhoods study, a large observational study carried out in 231 Australian schools stratified by socioeconomic quartiles and urban/non-urban geography, which focuses on adolescent health and well-being. Participants were 8256 year 6 and 8
students (48% male), aged 11-16 years (M = 11.6, SD = 0.8 years) from schools across Victoria,Queensland and Western Australia who completed a comprehensive on-line survey. Data collected included the Short Mood and Feeling Questionnaire (SMFQL a tool for assessing depressive symptomotology in adolescents. Results showed that the mean total depression score (possible range 0-26 with total scores;:: 8 used as the cutoff for depression symptomotology) was 6.4 (SD = 5.9), with scores for females (M = 6.8, SD = 6.3) higher than those for males (M = 5.9, SD = 5.5), and scores for year 8 students (M = 6.7,SD = 6.1) higher than those for year 6 students (M = 6.2, SD = 5.8) (p < .001). Greater access to sporting and play equipment, local parks, and more functional neighbourhoods for walking and jogging reduced the odds for depressive symptomotology (p < .05L while increased levels of abandoned homes, and higher levels of fighting within the neighbourhood, and fewer scout/guide clubs, local teams to play sport, and adults in the neighbourhood to talk with, as well as reduced neighbourhood safety increased the odds for depressive symptomotology (p < .05). These findings support the important role of physical and social environments in influencing adolescent health and well-being. Modifications to particular aspects of these environments at the community level may assist in providing adolescents some protection from depression.
ISBN 0729806561
Language eng
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
HERDC collection year 2008
Persistent URL

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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