Author

Fiona Barron

Date of Award

6-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Professor Khalaf Nasser Al-Heeti

Second Advisor

Dr. Abdulla Hamid

Third Advisor

Dr. Fadwa Al Mughairbi

Abstract

This thesis was concerned with understanding potential preventative influencers in reducing depression. Focusing on mindfulness and Physical Activity (PA). Relatively few studies have explored the relationship between specific factors of PA and adolescent depressive symptoms and none have looked at the UAE population. Therefore the aim of this study was to determine whether a significant association exists between Mindfulness and PA on adolescent depressive symptoms, in order to understand if either variable can reduce the onset of depression, by exploring the relationships between frequency, duration, intensity and number of other individuals. A self-administered instrument was administered to international schools in the UAE. The instrument was made up of a seven questionnaires; Section 1, Demographics (4 items). Section 2, CAMS-R (10 items). Section 3, The Becks Depression Inventory-II (20 items). Section 4, Frequency of exercise (1 item, 40 options). Section 5, Duration of exercise (1 item, 40 options). Section 6, Level of intensity, (1 item, 40 options). Section 7, Number of other participants (1 item, 40 options). The findings showed a significant negative correlation between depression and mindfulness with a moderate effect size, and a significant negative relationship with frequency of PA, duration of PA, intensity of PA and number of individuals in which they engage in PA with, all with a small effect size. However mindfulness was the only predictor of depression in females and mindfulness and intensity were the only predictors of depression in males. It was also established that females presented significantly higher depression scores to males and participated in significantly less PA across all four measures. The findings can be used by clinical practitioners to guide them in their intervention recommendations, as well as by schools/counselors to integrate PA as a preventive strategy for depression.

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