Effect of Physical Activity on Depression among Hispanic Adults in South Texas

Shangir Siddique, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose of this thesis is to analyze data collected within the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (n=4211) to understand if an association between physical activity and depression exists among Hispanic adults in South Texas. While the growing body of literature supports the idea of physical activity effecting depression status/symptoms, there is much less evidence of this association among highly underserved and impoverished populations, such as the one found in Cameron County, Texas. Additionally, traditional approaches to dealing with depression such as antidepressant medication may not be as widely available to these impoverished populations compared to those found in other regions. By using a cross sectional study design where only baseline data was analyzed, and after excluding participants based on age, location, missing values for key variables, and extreme values for key variables, the author was able to implement a four-stage data analysis methodology consisting of the following tests: descriptive univariate analysis, logistic regression models, linear regression models, and a Spearman Correlation test. The results indicated that an association between physical activity and depression does exist, with those who meet US guidelines for physical activity having lower odds of being depressed compared to individuals who do not, and an increase in physical activity having a negative effect on the depression score. However, multiple variables were found to weaken this association upon adjusting, including age, gender, and anxiety score. While this thesis does provide key information that can be utilized for future public health interventions or to create an environment where the benefits of physical activity are more well known among those in South Texas, future research to establish causality between physical activity as a solution for depression among this population is required.^

Subject Area

Mental health|Public health|Clinical psychology|Hispanic American studies|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Siddique, Shangir, "Effect of Physical Activity on Depression among Hispanic Adults in South Texas" (2017). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10269154.