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


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.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).