Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. Piotr Wilk


The purpose of this thesis was to examine the longitudinal associations between body mass and depressive symptoms as adolescents transition into young adults, using secondary data analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. Adolescents (N = 1,895) were followed across five ages, between ages 17 and 25. Body mass and depressive symptoms were self-reported at each age. Latent growth modelling was used for all analyses. Results showed that the trajectory of body mass increased over time, while the trajectory of depressive symptoms decreased over time, for both males and females. Adolescent females with higher initial body mass levels reported a slower decrease in depressive symptoms over time. Conversely, adolescent males with higher initial depressive symptoms reported a slower increase in body mass over time. Public health implications, future research initiatives, and conclusions are further discussed.