Depression among Middle Schoolers. Physical Fitness Can Help.

Depression is a very complicated subject and discussions on the topic often leave us without answers.

Dreamstime Stock Photo

Dreamstime Stock Photo

Adolescent Depression

Adults are not the only ones who struggle with this disease. Young adolescents can also become victims and sometimes “depression that begins at this time can lead to chronic or recurring depression in later years”. So said Camilo Ruggero Phd of the University of North Texas, when he presented the findings of a recent study at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention.

“Depression in adolescence is associated with a range of poor school and health outcomes later on and is the main cause of disability in this age group according to the World Health Organization, Ruggero said.”


But there is hope. Researchers who surveyed Middle School students found that their level of physical fitness in 6th grade affected their levels of depression in 7th grade.

Here is the summary of their findings published in The Science Daily.

“Physically fit sixth-graders –- especially girls -– are less likely to report feeling depressed when they reach seventh grade, according to a study. Even when researchers considered existing symptoms of depression and weight, sixth-grade girls who performed better on a cardiorespiratory fitness test were less likely to feel depressed when they were surveyed again in seventh grade. There was a smaller but similar effect on boys’ depression.”

While a variety of interventions is the recommendation when dealing with depression, these findings are encouraging in helping parents and teachers find ways to help prevent adolescent depression.

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