Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Phillip J. Brantley

Abstract

The present study used a longitudinal design in an attempt to answer the following questions: (a) what is the prevalence of sedentary lifestyle in a low-income primary care female population? (b) does minor stress predict depressive symptoms after controlling for major stress? and (c) does leisure-time physical activity moderate the association between stress and depressive symptoms? The sample included 150 randomly selected adult female patients recruited from primary care clinics at a public hospital in the state of Louisiana. This sample consisted predominantly of uninsured, African American, low-income, middle-aged females. The results indicated that prevalence of sedentary lifestyle (58%) was above both national and state estimates. Major stress predicted depressive symptoms as measured by a self-report instrument (i.e., Center for Epidemiologic Studies - Depressed Mood Scale (CES-D)) as well as the diagnosis of major depressive disorder based on a psychiatric interview (Diagnostic Interview Schedule - IV (DIS-IV)). Although minor stress contributed a unique amount of variance to the prediction of depressive symptoms on the CES-D after controlling for major stress, it failed to predict the diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Hierarchical regression analyses failed to support the hypothesis that leisure-time physical activity would moderate the association between stress and depressive symptoms.

ISBN

9780591904949

Pages

81

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