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Positive and Negative Emotions: Differential Associations with Sleep Duration and Quality in Adolescents

Abstract

Despite positive and negative emotions being equally important predictors of adolescent wellbeing, research examining positive emotions is limited. In 4582 adolescents (69.4% females; age M ± SD= 14.55 ± 1.74 years), we used structural equation modelling to examine associations between self-reported sleep duration and quality with positive affect, negative affect, and happiness, controlling for age and sex. Overall, sleep quality displayed stronger associations with all measures of emotions compared to sleep duration. Shorter sleep was more specifically associated with lower positive emotions (happiness, followed by positive affect), whereas poorer sleep showed stronger associations with negative affect. Protecting sleep duration may promote positive emotions and enhancing sleep quality may reduce mood disturbances. Future research could incorporate both positive and negative emotions to better understand adolescents’ wellbeing.

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Authors’ Contributions

LS and BB performed statistical analysis, interpretation of data, and drafted the manuscript; JVS conceived of the study, designed and led data collection for the larger study, and provided critical revisions of the manuscript; GD and LB conceived of the study, designed the larger study, and provided critical revisions of the manuscript.

Funding

Data collection was supported by in-kind contributions from People Diagnostix. Lin Shen is supported by Monash Graduate Scholarship and Monash International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. Bei Bei is supported by National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) Health Professional Fellowship.

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Correspondence to Lin Shen.

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Conflict of Interest

The authors report no conflict of interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures were approved by Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee (approval: 2015/231) and in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants and their parent/ guardian prior to study entry.

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Shen, L., van Schie, J., Ditchburn, G. et al. Positive and Negative Emotions: Differential Associations with Sleep Duration and Quality in Adolescents. J Youth Adolescence 47, 2584–2595 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0899-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0899-1

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Sleep
  • Positive affect
  • Negative affect
  • Happiness
  • Positive psychology