Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Joseph Dzierzewski

Second Advisor

Bruce Rybarczyk

Third Advisor

Victoria Menzies


Poor sleep is known to contribute to increased levels of pain. Preliminary findings suggest that negative and positive affect may mediate this relationship. Given that older adults are prone to both sleep disturbance and pain, the main objectives of the present study were to: 1) examine the relationship between sleep and pain in a non-clinical pain sample of community-dwelling older adults and 2) to examine whether negative and positive affect mediate the relationship between sleep and pain. Baseline measures from 82 older adults participating in the Active Adult Mentoring Project (AAMP) were used for secondary data analysis. A daily sleep diary was used to assess sleep efficiency (SE), total wake time (TWT), total sleep time (TST), and sleep quality (SQ). Affect was measured using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), while pain was assessed on an 11-point Likert-scale. Findings only partially corroborated past research; SE, SQ, and TWT each predicted pain, while TST did not. In addition, neither positive nor negative affect was found to mediate the relationship between sleep and pain. Methodological and theoretical explanation for the lack of significant mediation are discussed. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that the assessment and treatment of poor sleep among older adults with pain may be clinically relevant.


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