A number of factors have been identified as important correlates of physical activity (PA) among young women. Young women at risk of depression have a greater likelihood of being physically inactive and it is unknown whether correlates differ for women at risk and not at risk of depression.
A sample of 451 women aged 18 to 35 years self-reported leisure-time PA, enjoyment of and self-efficacy for walking and vigorous PA, barriers, social support, access to sporting/leisure facilities, and access to sporting equipment in the home. Depression risk was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire (cut point ≥5). Logistic regression analyses examined differences in PA correlates among women at risk and not at risk of depression.
Self-efficacy for vigorous PA was statistically different between groups in predicting odds for meeting PA recommendations but odds ratios were similar across groups. No other significant interactions between correlates and depressive symptoms were identified.
The findings suggest few differences in the individual, social, and physical environmental correlates of PA among young women who are and are not at risk of depression. Further research is needed to confirm the existence of any PA correlates specific to this high-risk target group.
The authors are with the Centre for Physical Activity & Nutrition, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.