In urban China, the incidence of depression has increased, and has become a social problem among junior high school students. This study was conducted to examine the relationships between psychosocial variables and depressive symptoms and to search for clues for preventive intervention. We conducted self-administered questionnaires to a sample of 293 junior high school students in Dalian in April and May 2008. Age, sex, health-related factors, depressive status, locus of control, social support, coping and negative life events were investigated. The incidence of depressive symptoms was 39.2% and 53.3% in males and females, respectively. Regardless of the CES-D categorization, after univariate logistic regression analysis, we found that cognitive style, avoidance coping and negative life events were significantly associated with depressive symptoms among males ; this association remained significant even after multivariate logistic regression analysis. Among females, we found that avoidance coping, failure of self-evaluation of health and negative life events were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Thus, avoidance coping and negative life events may influence depression in both male and female adolescents. Other psychosocial variables, such as cognitive style, were related to lower level of depressive symptoms in males, while health care was related to depressive symptoms in females.
This article aims to review original articles and symposium presentations about growth study in the field of “health and human ecology” and to consider its roles in the future. It was in 1932 that Dr Matsubayashi demonstrated indispensable role of growth study, especially longitudinal measurements, in his paper appeared in Vol. 2 No. 1 of the Society’s journal (the present-day Japanese Journal of Health and Human Ecology). In the early stages, the major targets were on retarded cases, but since the 1970s have been changed to overweight/obese cases, while continuously paying special attention to the ecological viewpoint. The symposium in the 72nd Society’s Meeting held in 2008 was titled “On child growth : its change and environmental effects”, which focused on the standard growth curves as the tool for assessing growth and health of individual children, interrelations among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, and the effects of infantile living conditions on psychophysical growth and development. Our growth studies are expected to contribute to healthy living of children with or without handicap, who live in various environments. Also expected are field studies in the Asia-Pacific region, based on our long-term research experience for Japanese children. In conclusion, growth studies should be further developed in the field of health and human ecology.