C-31: Free Communication/Poster – Psychology in Athletics: THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2005 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, OOM: Ryman C2
Physical activity and sports participation have been associated with positive mental health benefits that may include reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression and enhanced self-esteem. Theoretically, such benefits may influence suicidal tendencies.
To evaluate the associations between physical activity, sports participation, and suicidal behaviors among U.S. high school students.
Using the 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the odds of suicide ideation (SI = thoughts and plans) and suicide attempts (SA) during the previous 12 months, by physical activity (PA) behaviors during the previous 7 days. PA was defined as no PA, irregular PA (IREG), moderate intensity PA ≥ 5 days/week (MOD), vigorous intensity PA 3 to 5 days/week (VIG), and frequent vigorous PA 6 to 7 days/week (FVIG). Separate modeling was also conducted on suicide variables and any team sports participation during the previous 12 months (yes or no). Odds ratios (OR) were adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, geographic region, sad/hopeless feelings, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, drug use, a combined BMI/weight perception variable, unhealthy weight control practices, sports participation (during physical activity analyses), and physical activity (during sports participation analyses).
Adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) are listed in Table 1 (significant findings in bold print):
Frequent physical activity is associated with lower odds of suicide ideation among males. Sports participation is associated with lower odds of suicide ideation and suicide attempts among males. Further research is needed to identify the temporal relationship between these behaviors, and why the lower odds of suicidal tendencies are primarily afforded males.