155326 Social Integration, Depressed Mood and Physical Activity: A Study Among Adolescent Boys and Girls

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir, PhD , Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis, School of Health and Education, Reykjavik University, Reykjavík, Iceland
Álfgeir Logi Kristjánsson, MSc , Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis, School of Health and Education, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland
John Allegrante, PhD , Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
This study focuses on whether adolescents who have parents that support them and are well integrated into their school environment are less likely to suffer from emotional problems in the form of depressed mood and may be more likely to engage in physical activity. Using structural equation modelling with latent variables, we also test whether there are statistical differences in any of these relationships between adolescent boys and girls. The data for the investigation came from the 2000 study, Youth in Iceland. A total of 6,346 students aged 14 and 15 years participated in the study (51.4% girls) representing approximately 82% of the national population of Iceland in these age groups. With a good fit for the data we find that both parental support and school integration are very strongly and negatively related to depressed mood among adolescent girls and boys and that this relationship is significantly stronger among girls in both instances. Parental support and is weakly related to physical activity among both boys and girls. Social integration is weakly related to physical activity among boys but moderately related with physical activity among girls. This relationship is significantly stronger among girls. Finally, depressed mood has a weak direct relationship with physical activity among boys and girls. Findings are discussed in the light of Durkheimian integration theory and concurrent policy implications.

Learning Objectives:
1. They will gain understanding of how socially supportive and integrational factors attribute to better mental and physical health among adolescents. Learners will assess if structural equation modeling is a useful technique when applied to adolechent health studies. 2. Learners will identify the relationship between social integration, in the form of parental support and school integration, and mental health and levels of physical activity among 14-15 year old adolescents. Furthermore, how supportive functions at home and in school serve to decrease levels of depressed mood and increase levels of physical activity. 3. Learners will identify how the scope of physical activity relates to the broader social environment of adolescents and how supportive factors serve to increase the likelihood of greater levels of physical activity among them. With this in mind, it is especially important to keep in mind that physical activity is very important for the health of youth. The learner will appreciate how social integration can serve to increase participation in physical activity and decrease the likelihood of depressed mood among 14-15 year old youth.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.