Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 96, Issue 6, pp 427–431 | Cite as

Investigating Health Correlates of Adolescent Depression in Canada

  • Tracie O. Afifi
  • Murray W. Enns
  • Brian J. Cox
  • Patricia J. Martens


Background: The prevalence of depression rises sharply during adolescence.1,2 Understanding health correlates of adolescent depression may provide descriptive information with regard to which adolescents are more likely to be depressed. Health determinants have been found to have associations with depression in adult populations, but have never been investigated concurrently with depression in a national sample of adolescents in Canada. Therefore, the aim of the present investigation was to understand which health determinants would be significantly associated with adolescent depression.

Methods: A sample of 17,557 adolescents was used from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 1.1 to determine the health correlates of adolescent depression among males and females. To understand the relationship between health determinants, logistic regressions were conducted.

Results: The survey had an 84.7% response rate. The past 12-month prevalence of depression among the sample of adolescents was 6.5% ± 0.4% (3.4% ± 0.27% for males and 9.8% ± 0.44% for females). Reporting fair/poor perceived health, smoking, alcohol dependence, food allergies, migraine headaches, chronic bronchitis, and having physical health conditions had positive associations with depression for males and females. However, gender differences in the relationship between health correlates and depression were found. Even after controlling for all variables, females were still more likely to be depressed.

Conclusions: Several health determinants were associated with depression in adolescents in Canada. However, the relationship between some health determinants and depression functioned differently for males and females.

MeSH terms

Adolescent depression health Canada 


Contexte: La prévalence de la dépression est plus élevée pendant l’adolescence. Il est donc important d’étudier les déterminants de la santé associés à la dépression pour pouvoir décrire quels adolescents sont les plus susceptibles d’être déprimés. On a constaté que certains déterminants de la santé sont associés à la dépression chez l’adulte, mais ce phénomène n’a pas été étudié auprès d’un échantillon d’adolescents canadiens. Le but de notre étude était d’identifier les déterminants de la santé associés de façon significative à la dépression chez les adolescents.

Méthode: Nous avons utilisé un échantillon de 17 557 adolescents tiré de l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes (ESCC) — Cycle 1.1 afin de dégager les déterminants de la santé associés à la dépression chez les adolescents. Nous avons procédé par régressions logistiques pour comprendre le rapport entre les déterminants de la santé et la dépression.

Résultats: Les résultats ont démontré que la perception d’avoir une santé mauvaise ou médiocre, le tabagisme, les problèmes d’alcool et les maladies chroniques (entre autres) étaient associés à la dépression chez les hommes et les femmes. Cependant, nous avons découvert des différences entre les sexes à cet égard. Même compte tenu de toutes les variables, le taux de dépression était plus élevé chez les femmes.

Conclusions: Plusieurs déterminants de la santé étaient associés à la dépression chez les adolescents canadiens, mais les liens entre certains déterminants de la santé et la dépression étaient différents selon le sexe.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracie O. Afifi
    • 1
  • Murray W. Enns
    • 2
  • Brian J. Cox
    • 2
  • Patricia J. Martens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ManitobaCanada

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