Relationship Between Negative Mood and Health Behaviors in an Immigrant and Refugee Population
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (2017) 19(3): 655-664.
Background: Immigrants experience an escalation of negative health behaviors after arrival to the United States. Negative mood is associated with poorer health behaviors in the general population; however, this relationship is understudied in immigrant populations.
Methods: Adolescent (n = 81) and adult (n = 70) participants completed a health behavior survey for immigrant families using a community-based participatory research approach. Data was collected for mood, nutrition, and physical activity.
Results: Adolescents with positive mood drank less regular soda, and demonstrated more minutes, higher levels, and greater social support for physical activity (all ps < 0.05). Adults with positive mood reported more snacking on fruits/vegetables, greater self-efficacy for physical activity, and better physical well-being (all ps < .05). Negative mood was associated with low physical activity level and poor nutritional habits in adolescent and adult immigrants.
Conclusion: Designing community-based programs offering strategies for mood management and healthy lifestyle change may be efficacious for immigrant populations.