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Introduction: The consequences of recurrent, stressful daily experiences for sleep health appear intensified in individuals with pre-existing health conditions. Although discrimination has been associated with sleep outcomes, the role of comorbid chronic health conditions (CCHCs), and impact of perceived discrimination, remains unclear. The present study investigated (1) the associations between daily discrimination and sleep and (2) moderating roles of CCHCs and daily life interference and hardship.

Methods: The current study utilized archival data from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Study II. Participants, 174 adults (51% female, Mage=57 yrs., SD=11.5 yrs.), completed 7 days of actigraphy, sleep diary, PSQI, and CCHC-reporting measures. Models examined the moderating effects of CCHCs, daily interference, and hardship on the association between discrimination and sleep.

Results: Daily discriminatory experiences predicted numerous poor sleep outcomes, exacerbated for persons with higher CCHCs. Higher comorbidity (95% CI=5.40, 68.75) exacerbated the association between discrimination and TSTactigraphy, further strengthened by perceived hardship (95% CI=-3.75, -.40) and interference (95% CI=-3.65, -.30). Number of CCHCs, qualified by perceived hardship (95% CI=.00, .04) and interference (95% CI=.01, .05), predicted diary sleep quality above discrimination. The interaction between CCHCs and hardship predicted global PSQI scores (95% CI=-.91, -.12) beyond discrimination.

Conclusion: Daily experiences of discrimination are associated with decreased sleep duration and quality. These associations were stronger for individuals with multiple CCHCs. Exacerbating CCHC effects were perpetuated by perceived interference and hardships, suggesting individual emotion regulation (ER) differences. Future research should attend to sleep-related consequences of differential discrimination-informed ER by persons with CCHCs.

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sleep, chronic illness, comorbid chronic diseases, discrimination, actigraphic sleep indices, sleep quality


Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Natalie D. Dautovich, Ph.D.

Is Part Of

VCU Graduate Research Posters

The Association Between Discrimination and Sleep is Exacerbated in Individuals with Comorbid Chronic Health Conditions