Richard Dopp, M.D.

Fellow in Child & Adolescent Depression

Project Details


Cheryl King, Ph.D.
Roseanne Armitage, Ph.D.


University of Michigan


Improving Patterns of Physical Activity and Sleep in Youth with Depression


Improving Patterns of Physical Activity and Sleep in Youth with Depression


Physical activity and sleep have been linked to depressive symptoms in multiple populations. Persistent sleep disturbance increases the risk for recurrence of major depressive episodes and is the most common residual symptom in adolescents who fail to achieve remission of depression. Furthermore, recent work has shown that depressed children and adolescents have lower activity levels that are strongly related to impaired sleep regulation.

In adults, vigorous physical activity has shown impressive treatment effects for those with mild to moderate depression. Although these findings suggest that a rest-activity intervention might be appropriate for young depressed patients; feasibility, efficacy, and clinical utility have yet to be established. Intervention development requires specification of a theoretically and empirically driven intervention model.

Employing theories of motivational interviewing, health behavior change, and behavioral activation; adolescent subjects will participate in supported physical activity sessions at the University of Michigan Depression Center. These small, gender matched groups will meet twice weekly for four weeks, then once weekly for four weeks, followed by one final session at week 12. Outcome measures will include qualitative information to understand feasibility and design of the intervention as well as quantitative measures of depression severity, levels of physical activity and sleep.

We hope that a clinic-based intervention promoting changes in physical activity and sleep may lead to improved treatment outcomes for depressed children and adolescents. This work will be done under the mentorship of Dr. Cheryl King, Dr. Roseanne Armitage, and Dr. John Greden at the University of Michigan Depression Center.

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