The purpose of the present study was to summarize and synthesize the research that pertains to the impact of aerobic exercise on adolescents with depression. This review addressed aerobic exercise as a mental health treatment, such as differences between (a) post-intervention and follow-up response and remission rates; (b) exercise in lieu of psychotherapy or exercise as an adjunct to psychotherapy; and (c) response and remission rates amongst minority gender and racial and ethnic groups. The search results produced a total of 2,122 articles. Of which, eight articles were eligible for the present systematic review. Based on the results, it appears that aerobic exercise is effective for adolescents with depression. More specifically, aerobic exercise can be incorporated in the short- and long-term for depression. Aerobic exercise can also be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy. There are some delayed effects for aerobic exercise in lieu of psychotherapy. Lastly, it remains unclear if aerobic exercise has variable effects between genders and races/ethnicities.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Depression in adolescence -- Exercise; Aerobic exercises -- Psychological aspects; Exercise therapy

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Erlanger Turner