Piché, G., Huynh, C., & Villatte, A. (2019). Physical Activity and Child Depressive Symptoms: Findings from the QLSCD. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, Sport Special Issue. 51(2): 114-121.


This study investigated the contribution of engaging in structured and unstructured physical activity on girls’ and boys’ depressive symptoms. Secondary analyses were conducted using prospective-longitudinal data (n = 1,516 children) of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development. Parents reported on their children’s participation in structured and unstructured physical activity when he or she was 7-years-old. Depressive symptoms, when the child was 8-years-old, were assessed through the Social Behavior Questionnaire. Child’s past depressive symptoms, maternal depressive symptoms, family conflict, and socioeconomic status were also examined as confounding variables. Ordinary least square regressions were conducted. Structured physical activity was found to be significantly and negatively associated with boys’ depressive symptoms one year later (β = −.093; 95% CI [−.422, −.059]). Unstructured physical activity was not significantly related to later boys’ or girls’ depressive symptoms. These results suggest the importance of promoting participation in structured physical activity as early as the school entry in boys to potentially help preventing later depressive symptoms in childhood years. 



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