Department of Economics and Business Economics

The association between adolescent psychopathology and subsequent physical activity in young adulthood: A 21-year birth cohort study

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  • S. Suetani, Park Centre for Mental Health, The University of Queensland, Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Service
  • ,
  • A. Mamun, The University of Queensland
  • ,
  • G. M. Williams, The University of Queensland
  • ,
  • J. M. Najman, The University of Queensland
  • ,
  • J. J. McGrath
  • J. G. Scott, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Park Centre for Mental Health, The University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital

Background The beneficial effects of physical activity (PA) for both physical and mental wellbeing are well established. Given that adolescence presents a critical developmental period during which life-long patterns of PA become established, the exploration of the longitudinal impact of adolescent psychopathology on adult PA status is of interest. Methods We analysed prospective data from 3663 young adults who participated in the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy. Psychopathology was measured using the Youth Self-Report (YSR) at age 14. Participants' engagement in three types of PA (vigorous exercise, moderate exercise and walking) at age 21 were dichotomised into either 'none' or 'any'. For our main analysis, we examined the association between the YSR score and subsequent PA engagement using logistic regression. We also conducted sensitivity analyses of longitudinal associations between the YSR internalising and externalising symptoms score at age 14 and PA engagement at age 21. Results We found no longitudinal association between the total YSR score at age 14 and PA engagement at age 21. In addition, there was no longitudinal association between the YSR internalising or externalising symptoms and PA engagement. Conclusion Our findings suggest that there is no longitudinal association between adolescent psychopathology and PA in young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume48
Issue2
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
ISSN0033-2917
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Longitudinal study, physical activity, psychopathology.

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