The Relationship between Stress, Leisure Time Vigorous Physical Activity and Depressive Symptoms in AdolescentsUnni K. Moksnes1,2*, Monica Lillefjell1,3 and Geir A. Espnes1,4
- *Corresponding Author:
- Unni Karin Moksnes
Research Centre for Health Promotion and Resources
Mauritz Hansensgt 2, 7030 Trondheim, Norway
Tel: 47 97114742
Received Date: October 22, 2013; Accepted Date: December 18, 2013; Published Date: December 28, 2013
Citation: Moksnes UK, Lillefjell M, Espnes GA (2013) The Relationship between Stress, Leisure Time Vigorous Physical Activity and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents. J Child Adolesc Behav 2:120. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000120
Copyright: © 2013 Moksnes UK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: This study investigated the association between stress, leisure-time vigorous physical activity
(LVPA) and depressive symptoms in adolescents 13-18 years. The stress moderating role of LVPA was also
investigated. Clarification of the role of physical activity in relation to stress and mental health can be used to form
health promoting interventions to strengthen adolescent development.
Methods: The sample consisted of n = 1183 students from public schools in Mid-Norway (age groups: 13–14
years, 15–16 years and 17–18 years). The adolescents reported scores on the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire
(ASQ), a scale assessing non-clinical depressive symptoms and one item assessing frequency of LVPA.
Results: Boys` mean scores on LVPA increased with age, whereas girls’ scores remained stable across the
age groups. A significant association was found between increasing stress related to stress of peer pressure, school
attendance, and school performance and depressive symptoms for both boys and girls. For girls, stress of home
life was additionally significantly associated with depressive symptoms. In sum, the stress domains explained 42%
of the variance in depressive symptoms for girls and 28% of the variance for boys. LVPA did not show a significant
association with depressive symptoms for either boys or girls. A stress protective role of high LVPA was found for
boys in relation to stress of peer pressure, teacher/adult interaction and school performance. In girls, a significant
stress protective effect of high LVPA was found in relation to stress of home life and peer pressure.
Conclusion: The results show that the stress explained most of the variance in depressive symptoms in both
genders, whereas LVPA had a limited role. Results encourage a search for further knowledge about the association
between domain specific stress, LVPA and depressive symptoms and the development of interventions itself is
needed targeting stress related problems.