Reciprocal associations between physical activity, physical self-concept, somatic symptoms, and depression from adolescence to young adulthood: Disaggregating within- and between-person effects

Megan E. Ames, Christina L. Robillard, Jessica E.H. Ryan, Gabriel J. Merrin, Brianna J. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanisms by which physical activity may influence depressive symptoms, and vice versa, during adolescence are not well understood. The present study examined the longitudinal, reciprocal within-person associations between physical activity and depressive symptoms among a community-based sample of adolescents who were followed into young adulthood, while also estimating between-person effects and exploring physical self-concept and somatic symptoms as potential mediators. Data were from the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey (V-HYS), which followed adolescents (W1; N = 662; ages 12–18) biannually for ten years into young adulthood (W6; n = 478; ages 22–29). Random-intercept cross-lagged panel models were specified to understand the within- and between-person associations between physical activity and depressive symptoms, as well as potential mediation by physical self-concept and somatic symptoms. Results showed anticipated between-person associations between physical activity, physical self-concept, somatic symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Although within-person increases in depressive symptoms predicted decreases in physical activity two years later, within-person deviations in physical activity did not significantly predict subsequent changes in depressive symptoms. Within-person cross-lagged associations between physical self-concept and depressive symptoms, as well as somatic symptoms and depressive symptoms, were significant and bidirectional in nature. Results are consistent with past research demonstrating the potential long-term and enduring health risks of depressive symptoms. Future research that uses a shorter timeframe between assessments (e.g., days or weeks) may further clarify the link between physical activity and depression, including potential mechanisms that explain why this association unfolds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100513
JournalMental Health and Physical Activity
Volume24
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Depression
  • Longitudinal
  • Physical activity
  • Physical self-concept
  • Somatic symptoms
  • Within-person effects
  • Young adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Reciprocal associations between physical activity, physical self-concept, somatic symptoms, and depression from adolescence to young adulthood: Disaggregating within- and between-person effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this