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English Summaries (01/2018)

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Maarit Jansson & Jan-Henry Stenberg

Antidepressant mechanisms of exercise

Depression is a common mental disorder worldwide and it is typically treated with antidepressants and/or psychological therapy. However, there has been a growing interest in alternative approaches, such as exercise, as methods of prevention and treatment of depression. Previous observational and interventional studies have suggested that exercise and physical activity are associated with reduced likelihood of depressive symptoms and depression. The published results indicate that especially regular exercise of moderate intensity approximately three times a week lowers the odds of depressive symptoms and depression.

However, the mediating mechanisms remain poorly understood. In order to improve exercise intervention as a treatment of depression, it is crucial to examine which mechanisms are dominant in the association. The mechanisms that have gained the most support in the studies are the endorphin hypothesis, the brain derived neurotrophic factor hypothesis, the distraction hypothesis, the self-efficacy and mastery hypothesis and the social interaction hypothesis. It is yet unknown which of these mechanisms are in a dominating position.

Keywordsexercise, depression, antidepressant mechanisms, treatment of depression


Merja Hietalahti, Klaus Helkama & Katja Kokko

Spirituality value, meaning of life and mental well-being in middle-age

The revised Schwartz (2012) value model, with 14 core values, was used to examine the interrelations of the non-core spirituality value (meaning in life, a spiritual life, inner harmony), the 14 core values, and four meaning-of-life goals (religious matters, death, life reflection, wisdom). Also the relation of spirituality and meaning-of-life goals to mental well-being (psychological, social and emotional) was examined. The respondents were the 50-year-old participants of the JYLS. Spirituality was negatively related to self-enhancement (power, achievement) and openness to change (stimulation, hedonism) values and weakly positively associated with self-transcendence values. Its correlations with the core values largely followed the pattern implied by the integral value system notion. Spirituality was also more consistently associated with meaning-of-life goals than any of the other values. Spiritual value was not associated with well-being at all. Of the four meaning-of-life goals wisdom was most consistently associated with high well-being and death with low well-being.

Keywords: spirituality value, meaning-of-life goals, mental well-being, middle-age