Race/Ethnic and Gender Differences in Depression: The Role of Social Support and Leisure Time Physical Activity

Jarron M. Saint Onge, University of Houston

Recent research has suggested that both social networks and physical activity are on the decline in the U.S. While current research has focused on the importance of social support for physical and psychological well-being, few studies have looked specifically at the link between social networks and types of physical activity among specific demographic groups. I use the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2005-2006) to examine the relationship between social networks and social support in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) by race/ethnicity and sex. Specifically, I draw on a health lifestyle perspective to examine the role of social support and networks on LTPA differences. Next, I examine how emotional and friendship support and specific activity types are linked to depression outcomes in the U.S. population of adults age 40 and older.

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Presented in Poster Session 3