Association Between Body Mass Index and Depressive Symptoms of African American Married Couples: Mediating and Moderating Roles of Couples' Behavioral Closeness

Thulitha Wickrama, Chalandra M. Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined (a) associations between body mass index (BMI) and depressive symptoms in African American husbands and wives, (b) transactional associations between husbands and wives in this relationship, and (c) mediating and moderating role of couples' behavioral closeness in this association. Data came from a sample of 450 African American married couples residing in a southern state. The study found that (a) husbands' and wives' BMI is positively associated with their own depressive symptoms, (b) only the wives' BMI is positively associated with their partners' depressive symptoms, (c) only the wives' BMI is positively associated with their own and their partners' depressive symptoms indirectly through couples' behavioral closeness, and (d) among wives, the association between BMI and depressive symptoms is mediated and moderated by couples' behavioral closeness. Family interventions need to increase indoor, outdoor, and intimate partner activities, thereby reducing the association between depressive symptoms and body weight for African American couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-638
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • BMI
  • body mass index
  • couples' behavioral closeness
  • depression

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