Correlates of Depressive Symptoms in
Urban Youth at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
, DrPH, RN, FAAN
Rates of overweight in youth have increased at an alarming rate,
particularly in minority youth, and depressive symptoms may affect the ability of youth
to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors to manage weight and reduce their risk for
health problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between
depressive symptoms, clinical risk factors, and health behaviors and attitudes in
a sample of urban youth at risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
We obtained self-report questionnaire data on depressive symptoms and
health attitudes and behaviors related to diet and exercise and clinical data on risk
markers (eg, fasting insulin) from 198 youth from an urban setting. Seventh-grade stu-
dents were eligible if they were at risk for developing T2DM because they had a body
mass index (BMI) in the 85th percentile or higher and a family history of diabetes.
Clinically signiFcant levels of depressive symptoms were evident in approx-
imately 21% of the sample, and Hispanic youth reported higher levels of depressive
symptoms than black youth. Higher levels of depression were associated with several
health behaviors and attitudes, in particular less perceived support for physical activity
and poorer self-efFcacy for diet. Depressive symptoms were also related to some clini-
cal risk markers, such as higher BMI and fasting insulin levels.
Because depressive symptoms may affect ability to engage in
healthy behavior changes, evaluation and treatment of depressive symptoms should
be considered in preventive interventions for youth at risk for T2DM.
child and adolescent health; mental health; nutrition and diet; physical
Ftness and sport.
Jaser SS, Holl MG, Jefferson V, Grey M. Correlates of depressive symptoms in
urban youth at risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Sch Health. 2009; 79: 286-292.
Accepted on ±ebruary 12, 2009
Postdoctoral Associate, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale University School of Nursing, PO Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536.
Associate Research Scientist, (email@example.com), Yale University, 300 George St., New Haven, CT 06511.
Diabetes and Chronic Disease Progress Coordinator, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale University, PO Box 208237, New Haven, CT 06520.
Dean and Annie Goodrich Professor of Nursing, (email@example.com), Yale University School of Nursing, PO Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536.
Address correspondence to: Sarah S. Jaser, Postdoctoral Associate, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale University School of Nursing, PO Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536.
Journal of School Health
June 2009, Vol. 79, No. 6
2009, American School Health Association