Research Impact: Research has shown separate positive and negative associations between physical activity and screen-time with depressive symptoms. Research is needed to determine the interrelationship between ST and PA with depressive symptoms and the influence of different ST modes.
This study examined cross-sectional associations between physical activity level and hours of screen-time modes (TV, computer and phone use), using linear regressions: 1) in the full sample of 1756 Irish adolescents; 2) stratified by physical activity level (low, moderate and high); 3) and stratified by gender. Results found higher computer and phone use were associated with worse depressive symptoms in the full sample. TV use was not associated with depressive symptoms in the full sample. When we stratified by physical activity level the findings were mixed. We found reported physical activity level did not necessarily protect against the negative associations between some screen-time modes and depressive symptoms. Findings also differed based on gender and screen-time mode. In both males and females, physical activity appeared to moderate the positive association between higher phone use and depressive symptoms. This was not seen in either computer or TV use. This study highlights the complex inter-relationship between screen-time and physical activity with depressive symptoms in adolescents. Increasing physical activity and reducing screen-time should be targeted concurrently with consideration given to screen-time mode and gender.
Forte, C., O’Sullivan, D., McDowell, C. P., Hallgren, M., Woods, C. B., & Herring, M. P. (2022). Associations between screen-time, physical activity and depressive symptoms differ based on gender and screen-time mode. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1 10.https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-022-02080-w. Impact factor: 5.28; Q1