Linking depression symptom trajectories in adolescence to physical activity and team sports participation in young adults

Prev Med. 2013 Feb;56(2):95-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.11.013. Epub 2012 Dec 5.


Objective: The objective of this study is to examine depressive symptom trajectories during adolescence as predictors of physical activity (PA) in young adulthood.

Methods: Adolescents residing in Montreal, Canada (n=860) reported their depressive symptoms every 3-4 months during high school in 20 data collections. Three years later, participants reported engaging in moderate and vigorous intensity PA and team sports participation. Trajectories of depressive symptoms were estimated using latent growth modeling and examined as predictors of PA outcomes.

Results: Three depression symptom trajectory groups were identified during adolescence: low and declining depressive symptom scores (group 1; 37.8%); moderate and stable depressive symptom scores (group 2; 41.6%); and high increasing depressive symptom scores (group 3; 20.6%). In multivariable analyses, group 2 and group 3 participated in less moderate-intensity PA and were less likely to participate in team sports compared to group 1.

Conclusions: The importance of examining intensity and type of PA as outcomes of depressive symptoms is highlighted. Targeted approaches are needed to encourage adolescents with moderate to high depression symptoms to engage in PA and team sports to improve their health and well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Depression / classification*
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Participation*
  • Sports / psychology*
  • Sports / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult