Sleep & Military-Connected Couples

Research Paper Title

Perceived partner responsiveness, pain, and sleep: A dyadic study of military-connected couples.

Background

The health-promoting influence of supportive close relationships has been extensively documented, yet the mechanisms of this effect are still being clarified. Leading researchers have theorised that examining particular interpersonal interactions and the mediating intrapersonal processes they facilitate is the key to understanding how close relationships benefit health. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of perceived partner responsiveness (PPR) on pain and sleep quality via affect in a sample of veterans and spouses (collectively called military-connected couples).

Methods

Military-connected couples (N = 162) completed 32 days of daily diaries. Mediated actor-partner interdependence models were conducted using multilevel structural equation modelling to assess the effects of PPR at baseline on the daily levels of positive affect, negative affect, pain, and sleep across the following 32 days.

Results

Indirect effects emerged such that affect mediated the association between PPR and pain for veterans only whereas affect mediated the association between PPR and sleep quality for both partners. Daily direct effects emerged as well; for example, positive affect was positively associated with higher sleep quality for both partners and lower pain for veterans. Partner effects were revealed such as veteran PPR was positively associated with spouse positive affect. Overall, greater PPR was associated with positive health outcomes for military-connected couples.

Conclusions

The implications of this study include providing insights for couple-oriented interventions for preventing and treating pain and sleep problems in couples who are at high risk of these health problems such as military-connected couples.

Reference

O’Neill, A.S.O., Mohr, C.D., Bodner, T.E. & Hammer, L.B. (2020) Perceived partner responsiveness, pain, and sleep: A dyadic study of military-connected couples. Health Psychology. 39(12), pp.1089-1099. doi: 10.1037/hea0001035.

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