Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 419–430 | Cite as

The Effects of Ethnic/Racial Discrimination and Sleep Quality on Depressive Symptoms and Self-Esteem Trajectories Among Diverse Adolescents

  • Tiffany YipEmail author
Empirical Research


Ethnic/racial discrimination has persistent negative implications for both physical and mental health. The current study employs a risk and resilience framework to explore the joint effects of ethnic/racial discrimination and sleep disturbance on psychosocial outcomes among adolescents. In a sample of 146 minority and White adolescents (70 % female), changes in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and self-esteem over 3 years are explored using growth curve models. Regardless of ethnic background, adolescents reporting high levels of ethnic/racial discrimination and poor sleep also reported a corresponding increase in depressive symptoms and lower levels of self-esteem over time. Adolescents reporting all other combinations of sleep quality and ethnic/racial discrimination reported more positive adjustment over time. The joint effects of sleep and ethnic/racial discrimination on adolescent psychosocial development are discussed.


Ethnic/racial discrimination Sleep Depressive symptoms Self-esteem 



This study was funded by an NICHD (5R01HD055436) grant awarded to Tiffany Yip and J. Nicole Shelton (Princeton University).


  1. Akerstedt, T., & Gillberg M. (1981). The circadian pattern of unrestricted sleep and its relation to body temperature, hormones, and alertness. In Biological rhythms, sleep and shift work (pp. 481–498).Google Scholar
  2. Beatty, D. L., Hall, M. H., Kamarck, T. A., Buysse, D. J., Owens, J. F., Reis, S. E., et al. (2011). Unfair treatment is associated with poor sleep in African American and Caucasian adults: Pittsburgh SleepSCORE project. Health Psychology, 30(3), 351–359. doi: 10.1037/a0022976.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Branscombe, N., Schmitt, M., & Harvey, R. (1999). Perceiving pervasive discrimination among African Americans: Implications for group identification and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 135–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Breslau, N., Roth, T., Rosenthal, L., & Andreski, P. (1996). Sleep disturbance and psychiatric disorders: A longitudinal epidemiological study of young adults. Biological Psychiatry, 39(6), 411–418.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bryk, A. S., & Raudenbush, S. W. (1992a). Hierarchical linear models for social and behavioral research: Applications and data analysis methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications Inc.Google Scholar
  6. Bryk, A. S., & Raudenbush, S. W. (1992b). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.Google Scholar
  7. Bub, K. L., Buckhalt, J. A., & El-Sheikh, M. (2011). Children’s sleep and cognitive performance: A cross-domain analysis of change over time. Developmental Psychology, 47(6), 1504.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buckhalt, J. A., El-Sheikh, M., & Keller, P. (2007). Children’s sleep and cognitive functioning: Race and socioeconomic status as moderators of effects. Child Development, 78(1), 213–231.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bureau, United States Census. (2012). U.S. Census bureau projections show a slower growing, older, more diverse nation a half century from now. Retrieved March 15 2013.Google Scholar
  10. Carskadon, M. A. (1990). Patterns of sleep and sleepiness in adolescents. Pediatrician, 17(1), 5–12.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Carskadon, M. A., & Dement, W. C. (2011). Monitoring and staging human sleep. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth, & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine (pp. 16–26). St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carskadon, M. A., Wolfson, A. R., Acebo, C., Tzischinsky, O., & Seifer, R. (1998). Adolescent sleep patterns, circadian timing, and sleepiness at a transition to early school days. Sleep, 21, 871–881.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Dahl, R. E. (1996). The regulation of sleep and arousal: Development and psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 8, 3–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dahl, R. E. (1999). The consequences of insufficient sleep for adolescents. Phi Delta Kappan, 80(5), 354–359.Google Scholar
  15. Dahl, R. E., & Lewin, D. S. (2002). Pathways to adolescent health sleep regulation and behavior. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31(6), 175–184.Google Scholar
  16. Dewald, J. F., Meijer, A. M., Oort, F. J., Kerkhof, G. A., & Bögels, S. M. (2010). The influence of sleep quality, sleep duration and sleepiness on school performance in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 14(3), 179–189.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. El-Sheikh, M., Bub, K. L., Kelly, R., & Buckhalt, J. A. (2013). Children’s sleep and adjustment: A residual change analysis. Developmental Psychology, 49(8), 1591–1601.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. El-Sheikh, M., & Buckhalt, J. A. (2005). Vagal regulation and emotional intensity predict children’s sleep problems. Developmental Psychobiology, 46(4), 307–317.Google Scholar
  19. El-Sheikh, M., & Kelly, R. J. (2011). Sleep in children: Links w marital conflict and child development. In M. El-Sheikh (Ed.), Sleep and development: Familial and socio-cultural considerations (pp. 3–28). Oxford: New York, NY.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ford, D. E., & Kamerow, D. B. (1989). Epidemiologic study of sleep disturbances and psychiatric disorders. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 262(11), 1479–1484.Google Scholar
  21. Gee, G. C., Spencer, M., Chen, J., Yip, T., & Takeuchi, D. T. (2007). The association between self-reported racial discrimination and 12-month DSM-IV mental disorders among Asian Americans nationwide. Social Science and Medicine, 64(10), 1984–1996. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.02.013.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Greene, M. L., Way, N., & Pahl, K. (2006). Trajectories of perceived adult and peer discrimination among black, latino and asian american adolescents: Patterns and psychological correlates. Developmental Psychology, 42(2), 218–238.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Haack, M., & Mullington, J. M. (2005). Sustained sleep restriction reduces emotional and physical well-being. Pain, 119(1), 56–64.Google Scholar
  24. Hale, Lauren, Hill, Terrence D., Friedman, Elliot, Nieto, F., Javier, Galvao, Loren, W., et al. (2012). Perceived neighborhood quality, sleep quality, and health status: Evidence from the survey of the Health of Wisconsin. Social Science & Medicine, 79, 16–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hamilton, N. A., Nelson, C. A., Stevens, N., & Kitzman, H. (2007). Sleep and psychological well-being. Social Indicators Research, 82(1), 147–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harrell, S. P. (2010). A multidimensional conceptualization of racism, Äêrelated stress: Implications for the well, Äêbeing of people of color. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 70(1), 42–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Keller, P. S., El-Sheikh, M., & Buckhalt, J. A. (2008). Children's attachment to parents and their academic functioning: Sleep disruptions as moderators of effects. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 29(6), 441–449.Google Scholar
  28. Krystal, A. D., & Edinger, J. D. (2008). Measuring sleep quality. Sleep Medicine, 9(Supplement 1), S10–S17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Leotta, C., Carskadon, M. A., Acebo, C., Seifer, R., & Quinn, B. (1997). Effects of acute sleep restriction on affective response in adolescents: Preliminary results. Sleep Research, 26, 201.Google Scholar
  30. Lewis, T. T., Troxel, W. M., Kravitz, H. M., Bromberger, J. T., Matthews, K. A., & Hall, M. H. (2012). Chronic exposure to everyday discrimination and sleep in a multiethnic sample of middle-aged women. Health Psychology,. doi: 10.1037/a0029938.PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Matsen, A. S., Best, K. M., & Garmezym, N. (1991). Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425–444.Google Scholar
  32. Meerlo, P., Sgoifo, A., & Suchecki, D. (2008). Restricted and disrupted sleep: Effects on autonomic function, neuroendocrine stress systems and stress responsivity. Sleep medicine reviews, 12(3), 197–210.Google Scholar
  33. Miller, G. E., Cohen, S., & Ritchey, A. K. (2002). Chronic psychological stress and the regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines: A glucocorticoid-resistance model. Health Psychology, 21(6), 531.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mindell, Jodi A., Meltzer, Lisa J., Carskadon, Mary A., & Chervin, Ronald D. (2009). Developmental aspects of sleep hygiene: findings from the 2004 National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll. Sleep medicine, 10, 771–779.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Moore, P. J., Adler, N. E., Williams, D. R., & Jackson, J. S. (2002). Socioeconomic status and health: The role of sleep. Psychosomatic Medicine, 64(2), 337–344.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. NS Association. (2006). 2006 sleep in America poll. Washington, DC: National Sleep Association.Google Scholar
  37. Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1(3), 385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Raudenbush, S. W., Spybrook, J., Congdon, R., Liu, X., Martinez, A., Bloom, H., & Hill, C. (2011). Optimal design software for multi-level and longitudinal research (version 3.01). William T. Grant Foundation.
  39. Riemann, D., Berger, M., & Voderholzer, U. (2001). Sleep and depression—results from psychobiological studies: An overview. Biological Psychology, 57(1), 67–103.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rosenberg, M. (1986). Conceiving the self. Melbourne, FL: Kreiger.Google Scholar
  41. Rutter, M. (1993). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. In J. Rolf, A. S. Masten, & D. Cicchetti (Eds.), Risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology (pp. 181–214). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Rutter, M. (1999). Resilience concepts and findings: Implications for family therapy. Journal of family therapy, 21(2), 119–144.Google Scholar
  43. Schmitt, M. T., Branscombe, N. R., Postmes, T., & Garcia, A. (2014). The consequences of perceived discrimination for psychological well-being: A Meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin. doi: 10.1037/a0035754.
  44. Seaton, E. K., Caldwell, C. H., Sellers, R. M., & Jackson, J. S. (2008). The prevalence of perceived discrimination among African American and Caribbean Black youth. Developmental Psychology, 44(5), 1288.Google Scholar
  45. Seaton, E. K., Neblett, E. W., Upton, R. D., & Hammond, W. P. (2011). The moderating capacity of racial identity between perceived discrimination and psychological well-being over time among African American youth. Child Development, 82(6), 1850–1867.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shacham, R. (2009). A utility for exploring HLM 2 and 3-way interactions [Computer software].Google Scholar
  47. Shaver, J. L., & Paulsen, V. M. (1993). Sleep, psychological distress, and somatic symptoms in perimenopausal women. Family Practice Research Journal, 13(4), 373–384.Google Scholar
  48. Spielberger, C. D., Gorsuch, R. L., & Lushene, R. E. (1970). State-trait anxiety inventory. Palo Alto, California: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  49. Steffen, P. R., & Bowden, M. (2006). Sleep disturbance mediates the relationship between perceived racism and depressive symptoms. Ethnic Groups, 5(6), 8–11.Google Scholar
  50. Thomas, K. S., Bardwell, W. A., Ancoli-Israel, S., & Dimsdale, J. E. (2006). The toll of ethnic discrimination on sleep architecture and fatigue. Health Psychology, 25(5), 635–642. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.5.635.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tomfohr, L., Pung, M. A., Edwards, K. M., & Dimsdale, J. E. (2012). Racial differences in sleep architecture: The role of ethnic discrimination. Biological Psychology, 89(1), 34–38. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.09.002.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Torres, L., & Ong, A. D. (2010). A daily diary investigation of latino ethnic identity, discrimination, and depression. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(4), 561.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Umaña-Taylor, A. J., & Updegraff, K. A. (2007). Latino adolescents’ mental health: Exploring the interrelations among discrimination, ethnic identity, cultural orientation, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Adolescence, 30(4), 549–567.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wei, M., Ku, T.-Y., Russell, D. W., Mallinckrodt, B., & Liao, K. Y.-H. (2008). Moderating effects of three coping strategies and self-esteem on perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms: A minority stress model for Asian international students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55(4), 451.Google Scholar
  55. Williams, D. R., Neighbors, H. W., & Jackson, J. S. (2008). Racial/ethnic discrimination and health: Findings from community studies. American Journal of Public Health, 98(Suppl 9), S29–S37.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wolfson, A. R., & Carskadon, M. A. (2008). Sleep schedules and daytime functioning in adolescents. Child Development, 69(4), 875–887.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wolfson, A. R., Richards, M., & El-Sheikh, M. (2011). Young adolescents. Sleep and development familial and socio-cultural considerations (pp. 265–298). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Wong, C. A., Eccles, J. S., & Sameroff, A. (2003). The influence of ethnic discrimination and ethnic identification on African American adolescents’ school and socioemotional adjustment. Journal of Personality, 71(6), 1197–1232.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yip, T., Gee, G. C., & Takeuchi, D. T. (2008). Racial discrimination and psychological distress: The impact of ethnic identity and age among immigrant and United States-born Asian adults. Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 787–800. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.3.787.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yoo, H. C., & Lee, R. M. (2005). Ethnic identity and approach-type coping as moderators of the racial discrimination/well-being relation in Asian Americans. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(4), 497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFordham UniversityBronxUSA

Personalised recommendations