US Navy: Linking Work Stressors, Depressive Symptoms & Sleep Quality

Research Paper Title

Work stressors, depressive symptoms and sleep quality among US Navy members: a parallel process latent growth modelling approach across deployment.

Abstract

The present study examined whether work stressors contribute to sleep problems and depressive symptoms over the course of deployment (i.e. pre-deployment, post-deployment and 6-month reintegration) among US Navy members.

Specifically, the researchers examined whether depressive symptoms or sleep quality mediate the relationships between work stressors and these outcomes.

Participants were 101 US Navy members who experienced an 8-month deployment after Operational Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. Using piecewise latent growth models, the researchers found that increased work stressors were linked to increased depressive symptoms and decreased sleep quality across all three deployment stages. Further, increases in work stressors from pre- to post-deployment contributed to poorer sleep quality post-deployment via increasing depressive symptoms. Moreover, sleep quality mediated the association between increases in work stressors and increases in depressive symptoms from pre- to post-deployment. These effects were maintained from post-deployment through the 6-month reintegration.

Although preliminary, the researchers results suggest that changes in work stressors may have small, but significant implications for both depressive symptoms and quality of sleep over time, and a bi-directional relationship persists between sleep quality and depression across deployment. Strategies that target both stress and sleep could address both precipitating and perpetuating factors that affect sleep and depressive symptoms.

Reference

Bravo, A.J., Kelley, M.L., Swinkels, C.M. & Ulmer, C.S. (2017) Work stressors, depressive symptoms and sleep quality among US Navy members: a parallel process latent growth modelling approach across deployment. Journal of Sleep Research. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12624. [Epub ahead of print].

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