Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Health Education

First Advisor

Ogletree, Roberta

Abstract

Whereas sleep is often thought of as a common health issue among college students, few, if any, researchers have comprehensively evaluated correlates and predictors of sleep quality and quantity within this population. Most often, studies of this type are used by researchers to assess particular categories of correlates and predictors (e.g., emotional and mental health, student employment, substance abuse, etc.). The present study was conducted to determine correlates and predictors of sleep quantity and quality using among randomly selected college students at a Midwestern four-year research university with high research activity. A classroom survey comprised of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Medical Outcomes Study - Short Form 36, a sleep journal, and demographic questions was administered to students enrolled in 18 University Core Curriculum classes during the spring 2011 semester. Four hundred and sixty student surveys were used for data analysis. Average weekday sleep length was found to be statistically significantly correlated only with mental wellbeing. No statistically significant correlations were found between any of the potential predictor variables and the dependent variables of average weekend day sleep length. Overall sleep quality was found to be statistically significantly correlated with mental and physical wellbeing. Using path analysis, three reduced models, one for each of the three dependent variables (weekday sleep length, weekend day sleep length, and overall sleep quality, were produced. Through ×2 testing, reduced models for all three models fit the full model's data; deleted paths did not contribute to the model. As a whole, students are getting adequate sleep length, but possess poor sleep quality. Sleep quality and sleep quantity, are influenced by different factors, creating challenges for those wishing to provide education, prevention and intervention services.

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