What lifestyle factors predict depressive symptoms? A longitudinal assessment among permanent supportive housing residents

Esther J. Holmes, Subhash Aryal, Scott T. Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: The first aim was to determine if four lifestyle behaviors (i.e., vegetable/fruit intake, physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use) predicted depressive symptoms among permanent supportive housing (PSH) residents. The second aim was to determine if the effect of lifestyle factors on depressive symptoms depended on the participants’ level of social support. Subject and methods: Participants were 420 adults enrolled in a technology-assisted health coaching program for PSH residents with symptoms of a mental health condition. A longitudinal analysis was conducted utilizing the screening/baseline, six-month, and twelve-month visit timepoints. The four lifestyle behaviors were included as predictors, and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9] scores) was the outcome variable. Potential confounding variables included social support and satisfaction with leisure activities. Additional covariates included age, sex, race, and visit timepoint. Social support was also evaluated as a potential effect modifier. Results: In the adjusted analysis, moderate alcohol consumption predicted lower depressive symptoms compared with heavy alcohol consumption (b = −1.54, p =.01). However, the difference in depressive symptoms between non-consumption and heavy consumption of alcohol was not statistically significant (b = −0.76, p =.07). Vegetable and fruit intake, physical activity, and tobacco use were not statistically significant predictors of depressive symptoms. Social support was not a statistically significant effect modifier. Conclusion: Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of having depressive symptoms among PSH residents. Interventions among PSH residents should consider approaches to reduce heavy alcohol consumption to moderate alcohol consumption to lower depressive symptoms in this population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health (Germany)
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Leisure activities
  • Lifestyle
  • Social support


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