Lifestyle and demographic correlates of poor mental health in early adolescence

Monique Robinson, Garth Kendall, Peter Jacoby, Beth P Hands, Lawrence Beilin, Sven Silburn, Stephen Zubrick, Wendy Oddy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aim: To determine theconstellation of lifestyle and demographic factors that are associated withpoor mental health in an adolescent population.


    Methods: The Raine Study 14-yearfollow-up involved primary care givers and their adolescent children (n= 1860).The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) was used to assess adolescent mentalhealth. We examined diet, socio-demographic data, family functioning, physicalactivity, screen use and risk-taking behaviours with mental health outcomesusing linear regression.


    Results: Adolescents with higherintakes of meat and meat alternatives and ‘extras’ foods had poorer mentalhealth status. Adverse socio-economic conditions, higher hours of screen useand ever partaking in the health risk behaviours of smoking and early sexualactivity were significantly associated with increasing CBCL scores, indicativeof poorer functioning.


    Conclusions: By identifying thelifestyle and demographic factors that accompany poorer mental health in earlyadolescence, we are able to better understand the context of mental healthproblems as they occur within an adolescent population.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)54-61
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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