[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The literature on relative age position effects is rather inconsistent. In this study we examined intra-classroom age position (or relative age) effects on Dutch adolescents' school progress and performance (as rated by teachers), physical development, temperamental development (fear and frustration), and depressive symptoms, all adjusted for age at the time of measurement. Data were derived from three waves of Tracking Adolescents' Individuals Lives Survey (TRAILS) of 2230 Dutch adolescents (baseline mean age 11.1, SD = 0.6, 51% girls). Albeit relative age predicted school progress (grade retention ORs = 0.83 for each month, skipped grade OR = 1.47, both p<.001), our key observation is the absence of substantial developmental differences as a result of relative age position in Dutch adolescents with a normative school trajectory, in contrast to most literature. For adolescents who had repeated a grade inverse relative age effects were observed, in terms of physical development and school performance, as well as on depressive symptoms, favoring the relatively young. Cross-cultural differences in relative age effect may be partly explained by the decision threshold for grade retention.
PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0128856. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0128856 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although it has often been suggested that physical activity and depression are intertwined, only few studies have investigated whether specific aspects of physical activity predict the incidence of major depression in adolescents from the general population. Therefore the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of nature, frequency, duration and intensity of physical activity during early adolescence on the onset of a major depressive episode in early adulthood. In a population sample of adolescents (N = 1396), various aspects of physical activity were assessed at early adolescence (mean age 13.02, SD = 0.61). Major depressive episode onset was assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. A Cox regression model was performed to investigate whether physical activity characteristics and their interactions with gender predicted a major depressive episode onset up until mean age 18.5 (SD = 0.61). The individual characteristics of physical activity (nature, frequency, duration and intensity) or their interactions with gender did not predict a major depressive episode onset (p values >0.05). So far, there is no prospective evidence that physical activity protects against the development of adolescent depressive episodes in either boys or girls.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 06/2013; 47(10). DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.06.005 · 3.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Physical activity is inversely associated with depression in adolescents, but the overall associations are fairly weak, suggesting individual differences in the strength of the associations. The aim of this study was to investigate whether plasticity genes modify the reciprocal prospective associations between physical activity and depressive symptoms found previously.
In a prospective population-based study (N = 1,196), physical activity and depressive symptoms were assessed three times, around the ages of 11, 13.5, and 16. Structural Equation Modeling was used to examine reciprocal effects of physical activity and depressive symptoms over time. The plasticity genes examined were 5-HTTLPR, DRD2, DRD4, MAOA, TPH1, 5-HTR2A, COMT, and BDNF. A cumulative gene plasticity index consisting of three groups (low, intermediate, and high) according to the number of plasticity alleles carried by the adolescents was created. Using a multigroup approach, we examined whether the associations between physical activity and depressive symptoms differed between the three cumulative plasticity groups, as well as between the individual polymorphisms.
We found significant cross-sectional and cross-lagged paths from physical activity to depressive symptoms and vice versa. Neither the cumulative plasticity index nor the individual polymorphisms modified the strengths of these associations.
Associations between adolescents' physical activity and depressive symptoms are not modified by plasticity genes.
Health Psychology 10/2012; 32(7). DOI:10.1037/a0030111 · 3.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low levels of physical activity (PA) have been shown to be associated with depression in adults. The few studies that focused on adolescents yielded mixed and inconsistent results. Efforts to examine the direction of this relationship have been inconclusive up to now. The aims of this study were therefore to investigate (1) the direction of the inverse association between PA and depressive symptoms over time, and (2) whether these associations are specific to particular clusters of depressive symptoms in adolescents.
Depressive symptoms and PA were assessed in a population sample of adolescents (N = 2,230) who were measured at three waves between age 10 and age 17. Depressive symptoms were measured by the Affective Problems scale of the Youth Self-Report and Child Behavior Checklist, whereas PA was operationalized as the amount of time spent on physical exercise. Structural equation modeling was used to examine bidirectional effects of PA and depressive symptoms over time.
We found significant cross-lagged paths from prior PA to later depression as well as from prior depression to later PA (beta values = -.039 to -.047). After subdividing depression into affective and somatic symptoms, the affective symptoms were reciprocally related to PA, whereas the paths between somatic symptoms and PA did not reach statistical significance.
An inverse bidirectional association between PA and general depressive symptoms was observed. This association was restricted to affective symptoms.
Journal of Adolescent Health 05/2012; 50(5):503-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.09.004 · 3.61 Impact Factor