Special Issue "Health Behavior Clustering and Mental Health Outcomes in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Adolescents".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ryan D. Burns
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health and Kinesiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Interests: academic performance; adolescents; children; cognitive development; health; longitudinal analysis; physical activity; sports
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Wonwoo Byun
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health and Kinesiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Interests: epidemiology; preschool children; intervention; reliability; sedentary behavior; wearable technology; validity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During this uncertain time in world history, maintaining adequate mental health is important. Children, adolescents, and young adults are susceptible to anxiety, depression, loneliness, and low self-esteem that may affect their physical health and overall well-being. These burdens may transfer into the academic classroom and negatively affect academic performance. Health behaviors such as adequate physical activity, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep quantity and quality have been shown to mitigate deteriorating mental health and improve well-being. Conversely, risk behaviors such as alcohol consumption, substance abuse, and smoking may exacerbate poor mental health. The clustering or combining of these health and risk behaviors may have additive effects on mental health outcomes. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Health Behavior Clustering and Mental Health Outcomes in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults”, offers an opportunity to publish high-quality research relating health and risk behavior clustering with mental health outcomes in young individuals. We are particularly interested in novel multi-behavioral interventions that target these outcomes within underserved populations. We also welcome observational studies examining longitudinal, moderated, and mediated relationships. Manuscripts will be rigorously peer-reviewed by experts in the field. Thank you for your consideration.

Dr. Ryan D. Burns
Dr. Wonwoo Byun
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • cognition
  • diet
  • mental health
  • physical activity
  • sedentary behavior
  • sleep
  • smoking
  • social support
  • well-being

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Gender Differences in Lifestyle and Mental Health among Senior High School Students in South Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010746 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Gender differences in health outcomes have long been a concern worldwide. We investigated the gender differences in the lifestyle and mental health status of senior students in general high schools who were preparing for college entrance exams. This secondary analysis was based on [...] Read more.
Gender differences in health outcomes have long been a concern worldwide. We investigated the gender differences in the lifestyle and mental health status of senior students in general high schools who were preparing for college entrance exams. This secondary analysis was based on data from the 14th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey (2018). The data of 8476 students in the third year (12th grade) of general high school, among a total of 60,040 middle and high school students nationwide, were analyzed. Mean and standard error (SE) and weighted percentage data were obtained, and the Rao–Scott χ2 test was performed. Boys reported more risky behaviors related to drinking and smoking, while girls had more negative perceptions of their bodies and overall health. In addition, girls showed unhealthier lifestyle-related behaviors (breakfast, physical activity, weight control) and greater vulnerability to poor mental health, including lower sleep satisfaction, stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Our results suggest that education and health institutions should consider the needs of each gender separately. A gender-specific approach to maintaining healthy lifestyles and good health status among senior high school students is highly recommended. Full article
Article
Physical Exercise and Psychological Distress: The Mediating Roles of Problematic Mobile Phone Use and Learning Burnout among Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179261 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Psychological distress among adolescents adversely affects their development and negatively impacts them later in life. The aim of the present study was to determine whether an association exists between physical exercise and psychological distress and to explore the roles of problematic mobile phone [...] Read more.
Psychological distress among adolescents adversely affects their development and negatively impacts them later in life. The aim of the present study was to determine whether an association exists between physical exercise and psychological distress and to explore the roles of problematic mobile phone use and learning burnout with respect to this association. A total of 2077 Chinese adolescents were evaluated by using the Physical Exercise Questionnaire, the Self-rating Questionnaire for Adolescent Problematic Mobile Phone Use, the Learning Burnout Questionnaire, and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21. A serial multiple mediation model was constructed using the SPSS PROCESS macro. The results showed that physical exercise was negatively associated with psychological distress in this Chinese adolescent population. Serial multiple mediation analysis revealed that problematic mobile phone use and learning burnout both independently and serially mediated the association between physical exercise and psychological distress. These findings provide evidence suggesting that increased attention should be given to problematic mobile phone use and learning burnout when establishing and implementing specific strategies that leverage greater participation in physical exercise to decrease psychological distress in adolescents. Full article
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Article
Motivation Research on the Content Creation Behaviour of Young Adults in Anxiety Disorder Online Communities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179187 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
With the advancements in science and technology and the improvement of medical care, mental health problems are receiving increasing attention. Increasing numbers of children, adolescents, and young adults are susceptible to anxiety. This paper assesses young adults based on self-determination theory and the [...] Read more.
With the advancements in science and technology and the improvement of medical care, mental health problems are receiving increasing attention. Increasing numbers of children, adolescents, and young adults are susceptible to anxiety. This paper assesses young adults based on self-determination theory and the theory of planned behaviour to determine the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations and mediating variables behind young adults’ content creation behaviour within anxiety disorder online communities (ADOCs). In addition, the paper introduces empathy as a moderating variable, builds a model of the content creation behavioural motivation of young adults, studies the motivation behind young adults’ content creation behaviour in ADOCs, and determines the moderating effect of empathy on young adults’ content creation behaviour. The research data were obtained using a questionnaire survey, and the SmartPLS structural equation model was used for empirical analysis. The study found that expressing one’s anxiety was the most obvious motivation, the content creation intention of young adults significantly positively affected their content creation behaviour, perceived enjoyment motivation had a significant negative influence on young adults’ intention to create content, reward motivation had no significant influence on the content creation intention of young adults, other motivations had significant positive influences on young adults’ content creation intention, and empathy only had a significant negative moderating effect on the relationship between self-efficacy and young adults’ content creation intention. This study not only enriches and expands research on motivation theory but also has practical significance for the improvement and active development of ADOCs. Full article
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Article
Using Latent Class Analysis to Identify Health Lifestyle Profiles and Their Association with Suicidality among Adolescents in Benin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168602 - 15 Aug 2021
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Youth suicidality is considerably prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, including Benin. Factors such as psychosocial distress, socio-environmental factors, and health risk behaviors are associated with suicidality. However, little is known about how these factors co-occur in these countries. An analysis of these [...] Read more.
Youth suicidality is considerably prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, including Benin. Factors such as psychosocial distress, socio-environmental factors, and health risk behaviors are associated with suicidality. However, little is known about how these factors co-occur in these countries. An analysis of these factors taken together would help to identify the profiles most at risk and better target prevention policies. Our study aimed to identify profiles related to these factors and their association with suicidality among adolescents in Benin. Data from the 2016 Global School-Based Student Health Survey were used, and factors related to lifestyle (tobacco and alcohol consumption and physical activity), physical violence, parental support, and psychological distress were studied. Latent class analysis was used to identify the profiles, and a modified Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations, adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, was performed to assess the association between these profiles and suicidality. The survey results show that globally, 13.8% of the adolescents (n = 2536) aged 11 to 18 had thought about suicide, 15.6% had planned suicide, and 15.6% had attempted suicide. Four profiles were identified: a low-risk group, one with psychological distress problems, a group with violence problems, and one with alcohol, tobacco, and violence problems. The risk of suicidality, in terms of ideation, planning, or attempting, was higher for adolescents in Profiles 2, 3, and 4 than those in Profile 1 (p < 0.05). Adolescents in Profile 2 were particularly affected by this increased risk (prevalence ratio (PR) for ideation = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.03–1.23; PR for planning = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.04–1.22; PR for attempting = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.01–1.17). This study highlights the typical profiles that may be linked with suicidality among adolescents in Benin. A holistic consideration of these factors could help in planning better preventive measures to reduce suicidality among adolescents in Benin. Full article
Article
A Latent Class Analysis of Health Lifestyles in Relation to Suicidality among Adolescents in Mauritius
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136934 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 652
Abstract
Suicidality, which includes suicidal thoughts, planning, and suicide attempts, results mainly from a combination of psychological, sociological, and environmental factors. Despite a high prevalence of suicidality among adolescents in Africa, only a few studies have considered these factors simultaneously. The objective of the [...] Read more.
Suicidality, which includes suicidal thoughts, planning, and suicide attempts, results mainly from a combination of psychological, sociological, and environmental factors. Despite a high prevalence of suicidality among adolescents in Africa, only a few studies have considered these factors simultaneously. The objective of the study was to identify the prevalence of suicidality, to draw up profiles of concomitant risks, and to examine the associations between these profiles and suicidality in Mauritius. This study used data from the 2017 Mauritian Global School-based Student Health Survey including 3012 adolescents with a mean age of 14.9 ± 1.4 years. Factors related to lifestyle such as consumptions of alcohol and tobacco, physical activity, violence, parental support, anxiety, and loneliness were considered. A latent class analysis was performed to identify the profiles. Finally, a modified Poisson regression analysis with generalized estimating equations, adjusted with sociodemographic characteristics, was used to assess the association between these profiles and suicidality. Overall, more than one in ten adolescents had at least one of the suicidality behaviors. Three profiles were identified: 1 = “low risk group” (63.9%); 2 = “problems with violence” (15.2%); 3 = “problems with violence, alcohol, tobacco and psychological distress” (20.9%). Profiles 2 and 3 were mainly made up of males. Adolescents under 15 represented the majority of individuals in profile 2. Finally, the risk of suicidality was higher in adolescents belonging to profiles 2 and 3 compared to profile 1 for the three suicidality behaviors (profile 3: Prevalence ratio (PR) for suicidal thoughts = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.19–1.34; PR for planning = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.17–1.30; PR for attempt = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.17–1.29). This study highlights the high prevalence of suicidality and a list of concomitant risks, emphasizing this suicidality in Mauritian adolescents. Therefore, these results recommend focusing preventive efforts toward a simultaneous consideration of these factors. Full article
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Article
The Sequential Mediating Effects of Dietary Behavior and Perceived Stress on the Relationship between Subjective Socioeconomic Status and Multicultural Adolescent Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3604; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073604 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
Studies have examined the impact of social determinants of health on the health behaviors and health statuses of ethnic minority adolescents. This study examines the subjective health of this population by examining the direct effects of multicultural adolescents’ subjective socioeconomic status (SES) and [...] Read more.
Studies have examined the impact of social determinants of health on the health behaviors and health statuses of ethnic minority adolescents. This study examines the subjective health of this population by examining the direct effects of multicultural adolescents’ subjective socioeconomic status (SES) and the sequential mediating effects of their dietary behaviors and perceived stress. We utilized secondary data of 500 middle school students from multicultural families who participated in the 15th Korean Youth Health Behavior Survey, 2019. Information about SES, perceived stress, subjective health status, and dietary behavior (measured by the breakfast intake frequency during the prior week) were utilized. For the relationship between the SES and the subjective health status, we confirmed the sequential mediating effects of breakfast frequency and perceived stress using SPSS 25.0 and PROCESS macro with bootstrapping. The results showed that SES had a direct effect on subjective health status and indirectly influenced subjective health status through the sequential mediating effect of breakfast frequency and perceived stress. However, SES had no direct effects on perceived stress. These findings emphasize that broadening the community-health lens to consider the upstream factor of SES when preparing health promotion interventions is essential to achieving health equity for vulnerable populations. Full article
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Article
Effects of a Home Literacy Environment Program on Psychlinguistic Variables in Children from 6 to 8 Years of Age
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3085; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063085 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 865
Abstract
(1) Background: the objective of this study was to improve certain psycholinguistic and cognitive skills that are fundamental to the development of the reading process, such as phonological awareness, reading decoding, vocabulary and oral narrative comprehension, through the introduction of an Home Literacy [...] Read more.
(1) Background: the objective of this study was to improve certain psycholinguistic and cognitive skills that are fundamental to the development of the reading process, such as phonological awareness, reading decoding, vocabulary and oral narrative comprehension, through the introduction of an Home Literacy Environment Active (HLE(A)) program that involved 54 participants enrolled in the first and second grades of elementary school (from 6 to 8 years old) in the city of Malaga area. (2) Methods: The central task of the intervention program was for the child to read aloud to an adult in the family for between 10 and 15 min, four days per week. In addition, the school students were evaluated on four occasions, at the beginning and end of each academic year, using the Batería de Evaluación de los Procesos Lectores Revisada, Test para la Detección de la Dislexia en niños and Escala Weschsler de Inteligencia instruments. (3) Results: the results demonstrated the efficacy of the HLE(A) program in the improvement of psycholinguistic and cognitive variables measured and, consequently, to an improvement in reading learning and cognitive development. Ultimately, the scientific literature on the subject and the data from the study led us to suggest that it would not only be beneficial for HLE(A) programs to be instituted in early childhood education stage (up to 6 years of age), but that they should be continued after age 6, in elementary education. Full article
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Article
Movement Behaviors and Perceived Loneliness and Sadness within Alaskan Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6866; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186866 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Physical activity, screen use, and sleep are behaviors that integrate across the whole day. However, the accumulative influence of meeting recommendations for these 24-h movement behaviors on the mental health of Alaskan adolescents has not been examined. The purpose of this study was [...] Read more.
Physical activity, screen use, and sleep are behaviors that integrate across the whole day. However, the accumulative influence of meeting recommendations for these 24-h movement behaviors on the mental health of Alaskan adolescents has not been examined. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between movement behaviors, loneliness, and sadness within Alaskan adolescents. Data were obtained from the 2019 Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The number of adolescents participating in the 2019 Alaska YRBS was 1897. Associations between meeting recommendations for movement behaviors with loneliness and sadness were examined using weighted logistic regression models, adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI). Approximately 5.0% of the sample met recommendations for all three movement behaviors. Meeting 2 or 3 movement behavior recommendations was associated with lower odds of loneliness (odds ratio (OR) range = 0.23 to 0.44, p < 0.01). Additionally, meeting 1 to 3 movement behavior recommendations was associated with lower odds of sadness (OR range = 0.29 to 0.52, p < 0.05). Joint association analyses determined that these relationships were primarily driven by meeting the sleep recommendation for loneliness and meeting the screen use recommendation for sadness. The results support use of multiple movement-based behavior programming to attenuate feelings of loneliness and sadness within Alaskan adolescents. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Acceptability, Feasibility, and Effectiveness of Wearable Activity Trackers for Increasing Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126211 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1114
Abstract
Wearable activity trackers (wearables) embed numerous behaviour change techniques (BCTs) that have previously been shown to increase adult physical activity (PA). With few children and adolescents achieving PA guidelines, it is crucial to explore ways to increase their PA. This systematic review examined [...] Read more.
Wearable activity trackers (wearables) embed numerous behaviour change techniques (BCTs) that have previously been shown to increase adult physical activity (PA). With few children and adolescents achieving PA guidelines, it is crucial to explore ways to increase their PA. This systematic review examined the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of wearables and their potential mechanisms of action for increasing PA in 5 to 19-year-olds. A systematic search of six databases was conducted, including data from the start date of each database to December 2019 (PROSPERO registration: CRD42020164506). Thirty-three studies were included. Most studies (70%) included only adolescents (10 to 19 years). There was some—but largely mixed—evidence that wearables increase steps and moderate-to-vigorous-intensity PA and reduce sedentary behaviour. There were no apparent differences in effectiveness based on the number of BCTs used and between studies using a wearable alone or as part of a multi-component intervention. Qualitative findings suggested wearables increased motivation to be physically active via self-monitoring, goal setting, feedback, and competition. However, children and adolescents reported technical difficulties and a novelty effect when using wearables, which may impact wearables’ long-term use. More rigorous and long-term studies investigating the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of wearables in 5 to 19-year-olds are warranted. Full article
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