The Relationship Between Weight Perception, Gender, and Depressive Symptoms Among Rural Adolescents

Abstract

Research findings indicate a relationship between weight perception and depression in adolescents. This study explored the relationship between weight perception, gender, and depressive symptoms in rural adolescents. Among 623 rural adolescents who completed a health inventory and a depression scale, 75 participants (n = 62 females; n = 13 males) had depressive symptoms and were used in data analysis. A two-way ANOVA model was used to evaluate the effects of weight perception and gender on depressive symptoms in rural adolescents. Although the 2-way ANOVA was not significant, there was a statistical significant finding for females who reported perceived weight problems and depression. The interaction between gender and weight perception was of marginal statistical significance (p = 0.07). Females who perceived a problem with their weight had higher depressive scores compared to females who did not perceive a problem with their weight (p = 0.0002), however no difference was observed for males. Implications are for rural nurses to screen adolescents for depressive symptoms and their weight perception during health care visits, with emphasis on females.
https://doi.org/10.14574/ojrnhc.v9i1.101
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