Physical activity, leisure-time screen use and depression among children and young adolescents

Kremer, Peter, Elshaug, Christine, Leslie, Eva, Toumbourou, John W., Patton, George C. and Williams, Joanne 2014, Physical activity, leisure-time screen use and depression among children and young adolescents, Journal of science and medicine in sport, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 183-187.

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Title Physical activity, leisure-time screen use and depression among children and young adolescents
Author(s) Kremer, Peter
Elshaug, Christine
Leslie, Eva
Toumbourou, John W.
Patton, George C.
Williams, Joanne
Journal name Journal of science and medicine in sport
Volume number 17
Issue number 2
Start page 183
End page 187
Total pages 5
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Chatswood, NSW
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1440-2440
1878-1861
Summary Objectives:
Adolescent mental disorders remain a relatively neglected area of research, despite evidence that these conditions affect youth disproportionately. We examined associations between physical activity, leisure-time screen use and depressive symptoms among Australian children and adolescents.

Design:
Large cross-sectional observational study.

Methods:
Self-reported physical activity and leisure-time screen behaviours, and depressive symptoms using the Short Mood and Feeling Questionnaire were assessed in 8256 students aged 10–16 years (mean age = 11.5 years, SD = 0.8).

Results:
Thirty three percent of the sample reported moderate to high depressive symptoms, with rates higher among females (OR = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.36; p = 0.001). Increased opportunities to be active at school outside class (OR = 0.70; 0.58, 0.85; p < 0.001), being active in physical education classes (OR = 0.77; 0.69, 0.86; p < 0.001), greater involvement in sports teams at school (OR = 0.77; 0.67, 0.88; p < 0.001) and outside of school (OR = 0.84; 0.73, 0.96; p = 0.01) were all independently associated with lower odds for depressive symptoms. Meeting recommended guidelines for physical activity (OR = 0.62; 0.44, 0.88; p = 0.007) and, for 12–14 year olds, leisure-time screen use (OR = 0.77; 0.59, 0.99; p = 0.04) were also independently associated with lower odds for depressive symptoms.

Conclusions:
Higher levels of physical activity among children and young adolescents, and lower levels of leisure-time screen use among young adolescents, are associated with lower depressive symptoms. Longitudinal studies are needed to understand the causal relationships between these variables.
Language eng
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30057549

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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