CitationEitle, D. & Eitle, T. M. (2018). Obesity, overweightness, and depressive symptomology among American Indian youth. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. vol. 5 (6) pp. 1305-1314
AbstractObjectives Despite evidence that American Indian adolescents are at a heightened risk of obesity/overweightness and experiencing depression, relative to other groups, there exists a dearth of studies that have examined the association between objective and perceptual measures of obesity and overweightness and depression with this understudied group. Our study represents one of the first studies to examine this association among American Indian youth. Methods Using a subsample of American Indian youth from waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (a survey of schools and students in the USA, with wave I collected in 1994 and wave II collected in 1995), we explore this association. We examine three measures of weight: obesity, body mass index, and weight perception. We also consider gender-specific models and a subsample of non-Hispanic whites, in order to assess race differences in the obesity and overweightness-depression relationship. Results Our findings reveal that neither of our objective measures of weight, obesity, nor body mass index are significant predictors of depressive symptoms for either American Indian or white youth. However, we find evidence that the subjective measure of weight perception is a significant predictor of depressive symptoms for white females, but not for American Indian females. Conclusions Our results contribute to past findings that measures of obesity/overweightness weight may be more important to white female's mental health than females from other racial groups, although additional research is warranted.
Keyword(s)American Indian mental health Depression Obesity and overweightness Racial disparities in health
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Eitle, T. M.