Youth team sports participation reduces risk of depression, anxiety in adulthood among children with ACEs

  • Easterlin MC & al.
  • JAMA Pediatr
  • 28 May 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Participating in youth team sports significantly decreased the risk for diagnosis of depression or anxiety in adulthood among children with a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), especially among boys.

Why this matters

  • Recent recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that clinicians routinely screen patients for ACEs could increase the need for strategies to reduce long-term health and mental health consequences among affected children.

Study design

  • Study included 9668 individuals with childhood history of ACEs from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health database.
  • Funding: University of California, Los Angeles.

Key results

  • 49.3% of individuals reported ≥1 ACEs.
  • At baseline, adolescents with ACEs vs those without were more likely to receive a diagnosis of:
    • Depression: 2.4% vs 1.2% (P=.006).
    • Current depressive symptoms: 26.6% vs 18.1% (P<.001>
  • Team sports participation during adolescence significantly reduced the risk for mental health problems in adulthood.
    • Depression: aOR, 0.76 (95% CI, 0.59-0.97).
    • Anxiety: aOR, 0.70 (95% CI, 0.56-0.89).
  • Team sports participation during adolescence significantly reduced:
    • Depression (aOR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.46-0.99), anxiety (aOR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.45-0.96), and depressive symptoms (aOR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.56-0.99) in boys.
    • Anxiety (aOR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.54-0.98) in girls.

Limitations

  • Survey-based study.

Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD

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