Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Natalie Dautovich

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph Dzierzewski


Social rhythmicity refers to the regularity with which one engages in social and lifestyle activities. Considerable research has recognized that social rhythms have important implications for health and well-being. For example, disturbances in social rhythms are one potential factor that may contribute to the development of anxiety and depressive disorders. Existing research on social rhythm irregularity has heavily focused on its link with bipolar disorder and, to a lesser extent, with depression. Less is known about the association of social rhythms with anxiety or with subclinical levels of depression. Furthermore, it is unclear how social rhythms are tied to mental health outcomes. Sleep shows potential as an underlying link, however, no studies have investigated sleep behaviors and sleep thoughts as potential links between social rhythmicity and mental health outcomes. The current study used a large sample of 3,284 adults to examine the role of sleep thoughts and behaviors as mediators of the association between social rhythms and mental health for clinical and subclinical levels of depression and anxiety. Moderated parallel mediation models revealed that greater social rhythmicity is directly associated with fewer depressive and anxiety symptoms, and that sleep behaviors and thoughts mediate this association. Further, sleep health was found to be a particularly stronger link for clinically depressed adults. The findings highlight the critical role lifestyle regularity plays in anxious and depressive symptom pathology. Results also highlight the importance of sleep behaviors and thoughts by demonstrating their concurrent ties to mental health, as well as their link between regularity and mental health. Future work is needed to further disentangle the impact of these constructs on mental health. Study implications and possible explanations of the findings are discussed.


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