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Physical activity and depression: a multiple mediation analysis

Physical activity and depression: a multiple mediation analysis
Physical activity and depression: a multiple mediation analysis
Objectives: Physical activity is associated with reduced symptoms among people with depression, but the factors that may mediate this relationship are poorly understood. We conducted multiple mediation analyses to assess whether positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), physical activity self-efficacy, coping self-efficacy and exercise-induced feelings cross-sectionally mediated the association and the relative importance of each of these. We also examined whether leisure-time, non-leisure time or total physical activity were more strongly associated with depression.
Method: Participants (N = 164) experiencing depression or low mood completed a one-off postal questionnaire containing measures of physical activity, depression, the potential mediators and covariate variables. Data were analysed using correlations and multiple mediation analyses, controlling for the covariates.
Results: Higher levels of leisure-time and total, but not non-leisure time, physical activity were significantly associated with lower depression. Improvement in PA, pleasant feeling states, NA and levels of physical exhaustion significantly mediated the association between leisure-time and total, but not non-leisure time, physical activity and depression. Post-hoc analyses showed that improvements in physical activity self-efficacy mediated the leisure-time physical activity and depression relationship through improved PA. Coping self-efficacy was not a statistically significant mediator.
Conclusions: Leisure-time physical activity may be more beneficial for depression than non-leisure time physical activity, as it increases PA and pleasant feelings and reduces NA and physical exhaustion. PA responses may be partly dependent on improvement in physical activity self-efficacy. People’s psychosocial experiences of physical activity may be more important predictors of their depression response than total energy expenditure.
exercise, mental health, psychological mechanisms, positive affect, negative affect, self-efficacy
1755-2966
125-134
Pickett, Karen
1bac9d88-da29-4a3e-9fd2-e469f129f963
Yardley, Lucy
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
Kendrick, Tony
c697a72c-c698-469d-8ac2-f00df40583e5
Pickett, Karen
1bac9d88-da29-4a3e-9fd2-e469f129f963
Yardley, Lucy
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
Kendrick, Tony
c697a72c-c698-469d-8ac2-f00df40583e5

Pickett, Karen, Yardley, Lucy and Kendrick, Tony (2012) Physical activity and depression: a multiple mediation analysis. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 5 (2), 125-134. (doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2012.10.001).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: Physical activity is associated with reduced symptoms among people with depression, but the factors that may mediate this relationship are poorly understood. We conducted multiple mediation analyses to assess whether positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), physical activity self-efficacy, coping self-efficacy and exercise-induced feelings cross-sectionally mediated the association and the relative importance of each of these. We also examined whether leisure-time, non-leisure time or total physical activity were more strongly associated with depression.
Method: Participants (N = 164) experiencing depression or low mood completed a one-off postal questionnaire containing measures of physical activity, depression, the potential mediators and covariate variables. Data were analysed using correlations and multiple mediation analyses, controlling for the covariates.
Results: Higher levels of leisure-time and total, but not non-leisure time, physical activity were significantly associated with lower depression. Improvement in PA, pleasant feeling states, NA and levels of physical exhaustion significantly mediated the association between leisure-time and total, but not non-leisure time, physical activity and depression. Post-hoc analyses showed that improvements in physical activity self-efficacy mediated the leisure-time physical activity and depression relationship through improved PA. Coping self-efficacy was not a statistically significant mediator.
Conclusions: Leisure-time physical activity may be more beneficial for depression than non-leisure time physical activity, as it increases PA and pleasant feelings and reduces NA and physical exhaustion. PA responses may be partly dependent on improvement in physical activity self-efficacy. People’s psychosocial experiences of physical activity may be more important predictors of their depression response than total energy expenditure.

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More information

Published date: December 2012
Keywords: exercise, mental health, psychological mechanisms, positive affect, negative affect, self-efficacy
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine, Primary Care & Population Sciences, Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346061
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346061
ISSN: 1755-2966
PURE UUID: 991a3090-9127-499e-93e7-f2ae33bfeb61
ORCID for Karen Pickett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8631-6465
ORCID for Lucy Yardley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3853-883X
ORCID for Tony Kendrick: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1618-9381

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Dec 2012 10:15
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:02

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