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Lifestyle variables as a major correlate of depression among young Australian women


Depression is one of the world’s leading mental illnesses. In Australia 1 in 8 men and 1 in 5 women on average experience this disorder. (BeyondBlue, 2015) Mental health problems in general are a growing concern among Australian health organizations especially in regard to the younger generation. Recent studies have suggested a relationship exists between unhealthy lifestyle factors and mental health disorders. It was found that both depression and anxiety were significantly associated with physical inactivity and alcohol and smoking habits in both sexes, and these were higher for women (Bonnet, 2005). Other studies have explored the link between depression and demographic variables such as socioeconomic status. Lorant et al (2003) found socioeconomic inequality in depression with people coming from a low-socioeconomic background being at a higher risk of depression. There have also been multiple studies that attribute proportion of life events, such as how much a person has been exposed to forms of abuse or bullying, to developing disorders such as depression. Using ALSWH data from the 1989-95 birth cohort, we aim to examine factors associated with a diagnosis of depression.