Project Title

Association between depression and physical health among college adults: The mediating roles of physical activity and diet

Authors' Affiliations

Olubunmi Kuku1, Gabrielle Caselman2, Julia Dodd, Ph.D.2, Lindsay Taylor2, Brittany Arnett2, Stephanie Alu2, and Morgan Barker2 1Department of Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson city, TN. 2Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

60

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr Julia Dodd

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Psychology

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

Depression is regarded as the most common mental problem among young college adults and is associated with numerous health complications and increased mortality. Significant evidence supports a relationship between depression and physical health outcomes, including poorer general health and obesity. The purpose of this study is to examine potential mechanisms underlying this relationship. Specifically, we examined whether three health behaviors – physical activity (PA), fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC), and fast food consumption (FFC) mediated the relationship between depression and three physical health outcomes – self-rated general health, somatic complaints, and body mass index (BMI). A sample of college students (n=723) was recruited through the ETSU Sona system and completed self-report questionnaires via the REDCap survey platform. Linear regression analysis was conducted in order to determine the association between depression, health risk behaviors, and health outcomes. The effects of age, race, gender, income, and year in school were controlled to limit confounding. Depression was found to significantly predict general self-rated health (R2 = .18, F[7, 335] = 10.64, p < .000, β = -.06), BMI (R2 = .13, F[7, 337] = 7.12, p < .01, β = .14), and somatic symptoms (R2 = .40, F[7, 335] = 31.86, p < .000, β = .60). Depression also significantly predicted fast food consumption (R2 = .04, F[7, 336] = 2.04, p < .01, β = .07), although it did not significantly predict fruit and vegetable consumption (R2 = .06, F[7, 335] = 3.00, p = .579, β = -.07) or minutes of physical activity (R2 = .03, F[7, 307] = 1.30, p = .975, β = -.08). No significant predictive relationships were found between the health behaviors in our study (PA, FVC, and FFC) and selected health outcomes (self-rated health, somatic complaints, and BMI). Because the regression results were not significant supporting mediation, a mediation analysis was not performed. The study findings demonstrate that depression is a strong predictor of multiple measures of physical health as well as of fast food consumption. Future research should continue to examine the mechanisms by which depression affects physical health outcomes. Understanding the health determinants that link depressed mood to physical health outcomes will help determine specific public health interventions that can potentially prevent and better manage the prevalence of these coexisting health conditions among college adults.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Association between depression and physical health among college adults: The mediating roles of physical activity and diet

Ballroom

Depression is regarded as the most common mental problem among young college adults and is associated with numerous health complications and increased mortality. Significant evidence supports a relationship between depression and physical health outcomes, including poorer general health and obesity. The purpose of this study is to examine potential mechanisms underlying this relationship. Specifically, we examined whether three health behaviors – physical activity (PA), fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC), and fast food consumption (FFC) mediated the relationship between depression and three physical health outcomes – self-rated general health, somatic complaints, and body mass index (BMI). A sample of college students (n=723) was recruited through the ETSU Sona system and completed self-report questionnaires via the REDCap survey platform. Linear regression analysis was conducted in order to determine the association between depression, health risk behaviors, and health outcomes. The effects of age, race, gender, income, and year in school were controlled to limit confounding. Depression was found to significantly predict general self-rated health (R2 = .18, F[7, 335] = 10.64, p < .000, β = -.06), BMI (R2 = .13, F[7, 337] = 7.12, p < .01, β = .14), and somatic symptoms (R2 = .40, F[7, 335] = 31.86, p < .000, β = .60). Depression also significantly predicted fast food consumption (R2 = .04, F[7, 336] = 2.04, p < .01, β = .07), although it did not significantly predict fruit and vegetable consumption (R2 = .06, F[7, 335] = 3.00, p = .579, β = -.07) or minutes of physical activity (R2 = .03, F[7, 307] = 1.30, p = .975, β = -.08). No significant predictive relationships were found between the health behaviors in our study (PA, FVC, and FFC) and selected health outcomes (self-rated health, somatic complaints, and BMI). Because the regression results were not significant supporting mediation, a mediation analysis was not performed. The study findings demonstrate that depression is a strong predictor of multiple measures of physical health as well as of fast food consumption. Future research should continue to examine the mechanisms by which depression affects physical health outcomes. Understanding the health determinants that link depressed mood to physical health outcomes will help determine specific public health interventions that can potentially prevent and better manage the prevalence of these coexisting health conditions among college adults.