Navigation Links
Poor mental health leads to unhealthy behaviors among low-income adults

Poor mental health leads to unhealthy behaviors in low-income adults not the other way around, according to a new study by Dr. Jennifer Walsh and colleagues from the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital in the US. In this study, stress and anxiety predicted subsequent health-compromising behaviors, such as smoking, binge drinking, illegal drug use, unprotected sex and unhealthy diets. One possible explanation for these findings is that health compromising behaviors may be used as coping mechanisms to manage the effects of stress and anxiety. The study is published online in the Springer journal, Translational Behavioral Medicine, and is part of an issue focusing on multiple health behavior change.

Dr. Walsh and her team explored the relationship between health-compromising behaviors and mental health in the context of socioeconomic disadvantage to determine whether mental health problems lead to subsequent unhealthy behaviors, or whether these behaviors lead to mental health problems.

A total of 482 adults, receiving care at a sexually transmitted infection clinic, took part in the study. They were asked to complete an online interview at the start of the study and then three, six, nine and twelve months later. The researchers assessed a number of behaviors: substance use (binge drinking, smoking, illegal drug use), exercise, as well as sexual, dietary and sleep behaviors. They also measured levels of anxiety, depression and perceived stress.

Health-compromising behaviors, including substance use, unprotected sex, poor diet and insufficient or excessive sleep, were common among patients attending the clinic. Participants with very low incomes reported a higher number of health-compromising behaviors, as well as more symptoms of depression and anxiety and higher levels of stress, compared to those participants with higher incomes.

The authors found that symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as perceived stress, predicted later levels of unhealthy behaviors, when both socioeconomic status and earlier behaviors were taken into account. In contrast, unhealthy behaviors did not predict later mental health. These results show that unhealthy behaviors follow depression, anxiety and stress, rather than giving rise to them.

The authors suggest that targeting mental health may offer a way to promote improvements across health behaviors: "Clinicians and practitioners should recognize that there may be high rates of depression, anxiety and stress, as well as health-compromising behaviors, in low-income populations, and they should assess mental health as well as these behaviors." Referring patients for mental health counselling or stress reduction techniques may help to improve their health behaviors.


Contact: Joan Robinson

Related biology news :

1. New study highlights impact of environmental change on older people
2. Flashback Data Remains Only Non-Governmental Digital Forensics Lab with ASCLD/LAB International Accreditation
3. Ornamental fish industry faces increasing problems with antibiotic resistance
4. Detrimental effect of obesity on lesions associated with Alzheimers disease
5. Environmental threat map highlights Great Lakes restoration challenges
6. Farm soil determines environmental fate of phosphorous
7. Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors name Environmental Engineering Science as its official journal
8. Prickly holly reveals ability to adapt genetics to environmental change
9. Researchers find new genetic pathway behind neurodevelopmental disorders
10. Environmental chemical blocks cell function
11. Research shows immune system response is detrimental to novel brain cancer therapy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/19/2015)... 2015  Based on its in-depth analysis of the ... with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for ... presents this award to the company that has developed ... of the market it serves. The award recognizes the ... on customer base demands, the overall impact it has ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris from 17 th until 19 th ... from 17 th until 19 th November 2015.   ... the first combined scanner in the world which scans both ... two different scanners were required: one for passports and one ... same surface. This innovation is an ideal solution for electronic ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), ... announced expansion of its TDDI product portfolio with ... and display driver integration (TDDI) solutions designed to ... TDDI products add to the previously-announced TD4300 ... resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) solutions. All four ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Creation Technologies would like to extend ... 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest growing companies in North America. ... medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth movement by as much as 50 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... company focused on discovering drugs for metabolic disorders, ... Watkins to its Board of Directors (BOD). ... executive officer of Human Genome Sciences (HGS), and ... Industry Organization. Jim Powers , Chairman ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce ... stand-alone facility will be strictly dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP ... chance to have complete chemistry and micro testing performed by one supplier. Management ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 23, 2015   Ceres, ... company, announced today financial results for the fiscal year ... its business. --> --> ... on commercializing forage and feed products with a better ... the company signed distribution agreements with several leading crop ...
Breaking Biology Technology: