Title

Physical activity in relation to depressive symptoms in black U.S. adults: results from the National Survey of American Life

Document Type

Dissertation

Peer Reviewed

1

Publication Date

1-1-2009

Journal, Book or Conference Title

Physical activity in relation to depressive symptoms in black U.S. adults: results from the National Survey of American Life

Abstract

A report of the Surgeon General revealed Blacks are underrepresented in mental health research (USDHHS, 2001). The purpose of the current study is to investigate the relation between physical activity (PA) and depressive symptoms in Black U.S. adults. Various mechanisms by which PA are proposed to decrease depressive symptoms are explored, including biological, psychological, social, cultural, seasonal and geographical factors. Since the exact mechanism of action is unknown, PA may not decrease depressive symptoms in all populations. A systematic literature review performed to determine the effects of PA on depressive symptoms in Black adults found inconclusive results, partly due to convenience sampling, predominantly female samples, and lack of reported guidance by theory. A secondary data analysis was subsequently performed on the National Survey of American Life (n = 4,716), guided by Stokols' Social Ecology of Health Promotion. Multiple regression for complex samples examined the relationship between PA and depressive symptoms while controlling for personal (sex, age, body mass index, disability, family history of depression and perceived discrimination) and environmental factors (ethnic origin, household income, region of country, neighborhood safety). Three separate analyses were performed for each type of PA, with a Bonferroni correction of p<.0167 test for significance. Depressive symptoms were associated with sports/exercise in women (b = -.40, R2 = .22) and men (b = -73, R2 = .17) and walking in women (b = -.28, R2 = .22). In contrast to sports/exercise and walking, gardening/yardwork was significantly correlated with increased age in women (r = .22) and men (r = .03). Family history of depressive symptoms was associated with depressive symptoms in women but not men. Longitudinal studies are needed to establish causality. Validation of self-report measures is recommended, such as DNA analyses for genetic factors. Consideration should be given to differentiating among leisure, transportation, occupation and household PA to avoid collapsing all types of PA into one variable. Studies should examine gardening and yard work separately, paying particular attention to whether this type of PA increases with age. PA measurements should include intensity, frequency, duration and type in order to compare results to national PA guidelines. Better measurements of the environment are needed.

Keywords

Blacks, Depression -- Psychosocial Factors -- United States, Physical Activity, Adult, Family History, Human, Multiple Regression, Post Hoc Analysis, Secondary Analysis, Socioeconomic Factors, Systematic Review, United States

Published Article/Book Citation

The definitive version was published in Physical activity in relation to depressive symptoms in black U.S. adults: results from the National Survey of American Life, : (2009) pp.114 p-.

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URL

http://ir.uiowa.edu/nursing_pubs/1700