Divorce-Related Psychological Adjustment Moderates the Association between Sleep and Systiolic Blood Pressure Over 90 Days in Women
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study investigates changes in resting blood pressure (BP) as a function of psychological distress and sleep disturbance over 90 days in recently divorced adults. Marital separation and divorce are associated with increases in self-reported sleep disturbance, distress, and negative health outcomes. However, few studies have investigated the interactive effect of psychological adjustment and biologically relevant health processes on specific health measures. Seventy eight recently separated or divorced community-dwelling adults (n = 25 men) completed self-report measures of divorce-related distress and sleep disturbance prior to a laboratory visit. During the laboratory visit, BP was assessed over 4 minutes. BP was assessed in an identical fashion 90 days later. Analysis revealed that an interactive effect between self-reported distress and sleep disturbance was significant for SBP in women only, after accounting for relationship and health-relevant factors. Among women who reported greater (+ 1 SD) psychological distress, those who reported greater (+lSD) sleep disturbance evidenced significantly greater increases in SBP than those who reported less (-1 SD) sleep disturbance. These findings suggest that for women experiencing greater distress following divorce, sleep may either be a protective factor that ameliorates the negative effects of stress on health, or an aggravating factor that exacerbates these effects.
Degree ProgramHonors College