Lifestyle, appearance satisfaction and depressive symptoms in 13-16 years old Norwegian adolescents - A cross-sectional study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonNordic Journal of Psychiatry. 2019, 73 (8), 482-489. 10.1080/08039488.2019.1653964
Purpose: To examine gender-specific associations between multiple lifestyle-related risk factors, appearance satisfaction and depressive symptoms in a sample of Norwegian adolescents (13–16 years of age), and to study the role of appearance satisfaction as a possible confounder in the associations between lifestyle and depressive symptoms. Materials and methods: Data were obtained from Ungdata, a cross-sectional national survey of adolescents in Norway. In total 4379 subjects were included in the study. We constructed a lifestyle risk index and used multiple logistic regressions to examine the associations between lifestyle-related risk factors, appearance satisfaction, and depressive symptoms. Results: High screen time and use of alcohol were significantly associated with depressive symptoms among girls, while high screen time, tobacco and cannabis use were significantly associated with depressive symptoms among boys. An additive relationship was observed between the lifestyle risk index scores and the likelihood of depressive symptoms for both genders, the relationship being strongest among boys. Low appearance satisfaction was strongly associated with depressive symptoms, especially among boys, and identified as an important confounder in the associations between lifestyle and depressive symptoms, particularly among girls. Conclusions: High screen time was the most prevalent lifestyle risk behavior independently associated with depressive symptoms. Multiple lifestyle changes and improvement of appearance satisfaction should be included in measures targeting adolescents for the prevention and treatment of depressive symptoms. Future studies should elaborate on the gender differences in other adolescent age groups. Appearance satisfaction should be acknowledged as an important confounder in future studies of lifestyle and depressive symptoms.