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Depression and physical activity in a sample of nigerian adolescents: levels, relationships and predictors

Author(s): Adeniyi Ade | Okafor Nkechi | Adeniyi Celia

Journal: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
ISSN 1753-2000

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 16;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Physical inactivity is related to many morbidities but the evidence of its link with depression in adolescents needs further investigation in view of the existing conflicting reports. Methods The data for this cross-sectional study were collected from 1,100 Nigerian adolescents aged 12-17 years. Depressive symptomatology and physical activity were assessed using the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) and the Physical Activity Questionnaire-Adolescent version (PAQ-A) respectively. Independent t tests, Pearson's Moment Correlation and Multi-level logistic regression analyses for individual and school area influences were carried out on the data at p < 0.05. Results The mean age of the participants was 15.20 ± 1.435 years. The prevalence of mild to moderate depression was 23.8%, definite depression was 5.7% and low physical activity was 53.8%. More severe depressive symptoms were linked with lower levels of physical activity (r = -0.82, p < 0.001) and moderate physical activity was linked with reduced risk of depressive symptoms (OR = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.29-0.71). The odds of having depressive symptoms were higher in older adolescents (OR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.81-3.44) and in females (OR = 2.92, 95% CI = 1.82-3.54). Females had a higher risk of low physical activity than male adolescents (OR = 2.91, 95% CI = 1.51-4.26). Being in Senior Secondary class three was a significant predictor of depressive symptoms (OR = 3.4, 95% CI = 2.55-4.37) and low physical activity. Conclusions A sizable burden of depression and low physical activity existed among the studied adolescents and these were linked to both individual and school factors. Future studies should examine the effects of physical activity among clinical samples of adolescents with depression.
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