Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physical fitness can help prevent young adolescents' depression, study finds

Date:
August 7, 2014
Source:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Summary:
Physically fit sixth-graders –- especially girls -– are less likely to report feeling depressed when they reach seventh grade, according to a study. Even when researchers considered existing symptoms of depression and weight, sixth-grade girls who performed better on a cardiorespiratory fitness test were less likely to feel depressed when they were surveyed again in seventh grade. There was a smaller but similar effect on boys' depression.

Physically fit sixth-graders -- especially girls -- are less likely to report feeling depressed when they reach seventh grade, according to a study presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.

Even when researchers considered existing symptoms of depression and weight, sixth-grade girls who performed better on a cardiorespiratory fitness test were less likely to feel depressed when they were surveyed again in seventh grade. There was a smaller but similar effect on boys' depression, according to the findings presented by Camilo Ruggero, PhD, of the University of North Texas.

Researchers surveyed 437 students, 55 percent of whom were girls, at six middle schools in a metropolitan county in North Texas as part of a larger, county-wide program to assess physical fitness. In sixth and seventh grades, participants answered questions about their symptoms of depression and fitness. They were also weighed and completed a shuttle-based run, which is a fitness testing procedure involving short bursts of speed. The sample was 89 percent white and 9 percent African-American, with 27 percent also identifying as Hispanic.

"A student's physical activity level may change from week to week, whereas fitness is a result of more prolonged physical activity," Ruggero said. "Assessing the students' body mass index, how well they performed on a shuttle-run test and their own feelings of personal fitness helps to give us a more complete picture of each student's fitness level."

Twenty-eight percent of the girls in sixth grade and 29 percent in seventh grade had elevated symptoms of depression, said Ruggero. Among boys, 22 percent had elevated symptoms of depression in seventh grade and 19 percent in eighth grade. For boys and girls, the most powerful predictor of depression in seventh grade was having had symptoms of depression in sixth grade. However, once researchers controlled for this, fitness was an important factor in curbing students' depression a year later.

Depression in adolescence is associated with a range of poor school and health outcomes later on and is the main cause of disability in this age group according to the World Health Organization, Ruggero said.

"Depression that begins at this time can lead to chronic or recurring depression in later years," he said. "Fitness programs are one way to help prevent depression in middle-schoolers, but schools should also use other interventions, such as one-on-one or group therapy, that more directly address symptom treatment among depressed adolescents."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association (APA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association (APA). "Physical fitness can help prevent young adolescents' depression, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807121448.htm>.
American Psychological Association (APA). (2014, August 7). Physical fitness can help prevent young adolescents' depression, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807121448.htm
American Psychological Association (APA). "Physical fitness can help prevent young adolescents' depression, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807121448.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins