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Psychosocial Adjustment Throughout University: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Roles of Sleep Quality and Emotion Dysregulation

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Abstract

Sleep problems and emotion dysregulation are associated with depressive symptoms and alcohol use but little research has examined the long-term associations and the direction of effects between these factors. We examined these relationships with 1132 undergraduates (70.5% female) over 5 years. Sleep problems and emotion dysregulation, sleep problems and depressive symptoms, and emotion dysregulation and depressive symptoms were all related bidirectionally. Tests of indirect effects indicated that sleep problems predicted depressive symptoms over time (and vice versa) via emotion dysregulation and emotion dysregulation predicted depressive symptoms over time (and vice versa) via sleep problems. The results highlight the need to assess direction of effects, given that many factors that are typically seen as “predictors” also can be framed as “outcomes”.

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Acknowledgements

This work was presented as a poster at the 2017 meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD).

Authors’ Contributions

T.S. was involved in the idea for the study, study design, statistical analyses, and writing of the manuscript. T.W. was involved in data collection, idea for the study, study design, and coordination of the study, statistical analyses, and writing of the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding

This study was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada as a grant to Teena Willoughby (grant number 435-2014-1929).

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Correspondence to Thalia Semplonius.

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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study was approved by the University Ethics Board prior to survey administration at all five assessments. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Semplonius, T., Willoughby, T. Psychosocial Adjustment Throughout University: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Roles of Sleep Quality and Emotion Dysregulation. J Youth Adolescence 47, 1267–1278 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0826-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0826-5

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