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.