skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on September 26, 2023

Title: Mechanisms Linking Attachment Orientation to Sleep Quality in Married Couples

There is emerging evidence for links between relationship factors and sleep quality. Existing research linking attachment orientation to sleep quality has yielded inconsistent effects, has focused on younger samples, and has not considered underlying mechanisms of action. This research addressed these gaps in two studies that investigated the links between attachment orientation and sleep quality in both younger/middle-aged (Study 1) and older (Study 2) adult couples using Actor–Partner Interdependence Models. We also tested mediating effects of relationship-specific security and negative affect. In both studies, participants completed surveys assessing their attachment orientation, sleep quality, and the proposed mediators. Both studies revealed that relationship-specific security and negative affect mediated the negative association between insecure attachment and one’s own sleep quality. This research enhances our understanding of how attachment orientation affects sleep quality, provides a foundation for future research on relationship influences on sleep, and suggests avenues for improving sleep quality.

 ;  ;  
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 014616722211238
SAGE Publications
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Background With nearly 20% of the US adult population using fitness trackers, there is an increasing focus on how physiological data from these devices can provide actionable insights about workplace performance. However, in-the-wild studies that understand how these metrics correlate with cognitive performance measures across a diverse population are lacking, and claims made by device manufacturers are vague. While there has been extensive research leading to a variety of theories on how physiological measures affect cognitive performance, virtually all such studies have been conducted in highly controlled settings and their validity in the real world is poorly understood. Objective We seek to bridge this gap by evaluating prevailing theories on the effects of a variety of sleep, activity, and heart rate parameters on cognitive performance against data collected in real-world settings. Methods We used a Fitbit Charge 3 and a smartphone app to collect different physiological and neurobehavioral task data, respectively, as part of our 6-week-long in-the-wild study. We collected data from 24 participants across multiple population groups (shift workers, regular workers, and graduate students) on different performance measures (vigilant attention and cognitive throughput). Simultaneously, we used a fitness tracker to unobtrusively obtain physiological measures that could influence these performancemore »measures, including over 900 nights of sleep and over 1 million minutes of heart rate and physical activity metrics. We performed a repeated measures correlation (rrm) analysis to investigate which sleep and physiological markers show association with each performance measure. We also report how our findings relate to existing theories and previous observations from controlled studies. Results Daytime alertness was found to be significantly correlated with total sleep duration on the previous night (rrm=0.17, P<.001) as well as the duration of rapid eye movement (rrm=0.12, P<.001) and light sleep (rrm=0.15, P<.001). Cognitive throughput, by contrast, was not found to be significantly correlated with sleep duration but with sleep timing—a circadian phase shift toward a later sleep time corresponded with lower cognitive throughput on the following day (rrm=–0.13, P<.001). Both measures show circadian variations, but only alertness showed a decline (rrm=–0.1, P<.001) as a result of homeostatic pressure. Both heart rate and physical activity correlate positively with alertness as well as cognitive throughput. Conclusions Our findings reveal that there are significant differences in terms of which sleep-related physiological metrics influence each of the 2 performance measures. This makes the case for more targeted in-the-wild studies investigating how physiological measures from self-tracking data influence, or can be used to predict, specific aspects of cognitive performance.« less
  2. Understanding the underlying psychological constructs that affect undergraduate engineering students’ academic achievement and persistence can inform curricular and programmatic changes in engineering education, with the goal of increasing access and advancement in engineering for a diverse population of students. As part of a larger study examining student experiences in a civil engineering department undergoing curricular and cultural changes, this quantitative study investigated the relationship between goal orientation, agency, and time-oriented motivation, differences in this relationship across academic years, and potential influences from personality types. The larger project seeks to examine the motivation, identity, and sense of belonging for undergraduate civil engineering students; this paper seeks to construct a conceptual model explaining the interactive nature of some of these constructs. A previously tested and established survey that draws from multiple theories of motivation and other affective factors such as agency and identity, and that includes Big 5 personality constructs, was used to collect data from second, third-and fourth-year civil engineering students over a two-year period. Prior studies have focused on the instrument’s latent constructs with sense of belonging. However, no analysis has been conducted to examine how some of the constructs influence each other. Specific latent constructs of goal orientation, agencymore »(students’ beliefs that their career in science or engineering can lead to positive effects on the world), FTP, and personality were selected for secondary data analysis based on theory presented in the literature about relationships between motivation, goal setting, agency, and student perceptions of their future. The sample size of respondents was 843; data cleaning and deletion of missing data (65cases; 7.7%) resulted in a final sample size of 778(92.3% of the original data). This included328 second year, 294 third year and 156 fourth year students. Statistical analyses and modeling included bivariate correlational analysis, MANOVA and MANCOVA. Results indicated significant correlation between goal orientation, agency, and time-oriented motivation. Furthermore, differences in these constructs between academic years and personality type influenced the relationship. FTP differed between sophomores and seniors, with seniors having higher scores, suggesting motivation increases as time in the program increases. Personality significantly influenced these relationships in different ways but had the strongest effect on agency. The findings that certain types of people are not only motivated to go into civil engineering but believe their major will make a difference in the world, have implications for educational practice. Results align with current literature but also shed light onto the effects of personality on time-oriented motivation and agency, expanding theory in engineering education. Further research is needed to determine if the effects of personality hold true for other engineering and science majors.« less
  3. Introduction Social media has created opportunities for children to gather social support online (Blackwell et al., 2016; Gonzales, 2017; Jackson, Bailey, & Foucault Welles, 2018; Khasawneh, Rogers, Bertrand, Madathil, & Gramopadhye, 2019; Ponathil, Agnisarman, Khasawneh, Narasimha, & Madathil, 2017). However, social media also has the potential to expose children and adolescents to undesirable behaviors. Research showed that social media can be used to harass, discriminate (Fritz & Gonzales, 2018), dox (Wood, Rose, & Thompson, 2018), and socially disenfranchise children (Page, Wisniewski, Knijnenburg, & Namara, 2018). Other research proposes that social media use might be correlated to the significant increase in suicide rates and depressive symptoms among children and adolescents in the past ten years (Mitchell, Wells, Priebe, & Ybarra, 2014). Evidence based research suggests that suicidal and unwanted behaviors can be promulgated through social contagion effects, which model, normalize, and reinforce self-harming behavior (Hilton, 2017). These harmful behaviors and social contagion effects may occur more frequently through repetitive exposure and modelling via social media, especially when such content goes “viral” (Hilton, 2017). One example of viral self-harming behavior that has generated significant media attention is the Blue Whale Challenge (BWC). The hearsay about this challenge is that individuals at allmore »ages are persuaded to participate in self-harm and eventually kill themselves (Mukhra, Baryah, Krishan, & Kanchan, 2017). Research is needed specifically concerning BWC ethical concerns, the effects the game may have on teenagers, and potential governmental interventions. To address this gap in the literature, the current study uses qualitative and content analysis research techniques to illustrate the risk of self-harm and suicide contagion through the portrayal of BWC on YouTube and Twitter Posts. The purpose of this study is to analyze the portrayal of BWC on YouTube and Twitter in order to identify the themes that are presented on YouTube and Twitter posts that share and discuss BWC. In addition, we want to explore to what extent are YouTube videos compliant with safe and effective suicide messaging guidelines proposed by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). Method Two social media websites were used to gather the data: 60 videos and 1,112 comments from YouTube and 150 posts from Twitter. The common themes of the YouTube videos, comments on those videos, and the Twitter posts were identified using grounded, thematic content analysis on the collected data (Padgett, 2001). Three codebooks were built, one for each type of data. The data for each site were analyzed, and the common themes were identified. A deductive coding analysis was conducted on the YouTube videos based on the nine SPRC safe and effective messaging guidelines (Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 2006). The analysis explored the number of videos that violated these guidelines and which guidelines were violated the most. The inter-rater reliabilities between the coders ranged from 0.61 – 0.81 based on Cohen’s kappa. Then the coders conducted consensus coding. Results & Findings Three common themes were identified among all the posts in the three social media platforms included in this study. The first theme included posts where social media users were trying to raise awareness and warning parents about this dangerous phenomenon in order to reduce the risk of any potential participation in BWC. This was the most common theme in the videos and posts. Additionally, the posts claimed that there are more than 100 people who have played BWC worldwide and provided detailed description of what each individual did while playing the game. These videos also described the tasks and different names of the game. Only few videos provided recommendations to teenagers who might be playing or thinking of playing the game and fewer videos mentioned that the provided statistics were not confirmed by reliable sources. The second theme included posts of people that either criticized the teenagers who participated in BWC or made fun of them for a couple of reasons: they agreed with the purpose of BWC of “cleaning the society of people with mental issues,” or they misunderstood why teenagers participate in these kind of challenges, such as thinking they mainly participate due to peer pressure or to “show off”. The last theme we identified was that most of these users tend to speak in detail about someone who already participated in BWC. These videos and posts provided information about their demographics and interviews with their parents or acquaintances, who also provide more details about the participant’s personal life. The evaluation of the videos based on the SPRC safe messaging guidelines showed that 37% of the YouTube videos met fewer than 3 of the 9 safe messaging guidelines. Around 50% of them met only 4 to 6 of the guidelines, while the remaining 13% met 7 or more of the guidelines. Discussion This study is the first to systematically investigate the quality, portrayal, and reach of BWC on social media. Based on our findings from the emerging themes and the evaluation of the SPRC safe messaging guidelines we suggest that these videos could contribute to the spread of these deadly challenges (or suicide in general since the game might be a hoax) instead of raising awareness. Our suggestion is parallel with similar studies conducted on the portrait of suicide in traditional media (Fekete & Macsai, 1990; Fekete & Schmidtke, 1995). Most posts on social media romanticized people who have died by following this challenge, and younger vulnerable teens may see the victims as role models, leading them to end their lives in the same way (Fekete & Schmidtke, 1995). The videos presented statistics about the number of suicides believed to be related to this challenge in a way that made suicide seem common (Cialdini, 2003). In addition, the videos presented extensive personal information about the people who have died by suicide while playing the BWC. These videos also provided detailed descriptions of the final task, including pictures of self-harm, material that may encourage vulnerable teens to consider ending their lives and provide them with methods on how to do so (Fekete & Macsai, 1990). On the other hand, these videos both failed to emphasize prevention by highlighting effective treatments for mental health problems and failed to encourage teenagers with mental health problems to seek help and providing information on where to find it. YouTube and Twitter are capable of influencing a large number of teenagers (Khasawneh, Ponathil, Firat Ozkan, & Chalil Madathil, 2018; Pater & Mynatt, 2017). We suggest that it is urgent to monitor social media posts related to BWC and similar self-harm challenges (e.g., the Momo Challenge). Additionally, the SPRC should properly educate social media users, particularly those with more influence (e.g., celebrities) on elements that boost negative contagion effects. While the veracity of these challenges is doubted by some, posting about the challenges in unsafe manners can contribute to contagion regardless of the challlenges’ true nature.« less
  4. Background The physical and emotional well-being of women is critical for healthy pregnancy and birth outcomes. The Two Happy Hearts intervention is a personalized mind-body program coached by community health workers that includes monitoring and reflecting on personal health, as well as practicing stress management strategies such as mindful breathing and movement. Objective The aims of this study are to (1) test the daily use of a wearable device to objectively measure physical and emotional well-being along with subjective assessments during pregnancy, and (2) explore the user’s engagement with the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype, as well as understand their experiences with various intervention components. Methods A case study with a mixed design was used. We recruited a 29-year-old woman at 33 weeks of gestation with a singleton pregnancy. She had no medical complications or physical restrictions, and she was enrolled in the Medi-Cal public health insurance plan. The participant engaged in the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype from her third trimester until delivery. The Oura smart ring was used to continuously monitor objective physical and emotional states, such as resting heart rate, resting heart rate variability, sleep, and physical activity. In addition, the participant self-reported her physical and emotionalmore »health using the Two Happy Hearts mobile app–based 24-hour recall surveys (sleep quality and level of physical activity) and ecological momentary assessment (positive and negative emotions), as well as the Perceived Stress Scale, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Engagement with the Two Happy Hearts intervention was recorded via both the smart ring and phone app, and user experiences were collected via Research Electronic Data Capture satisfaction surveys. Objective data from the Oura ring and subjective data on physical and emotional health were described. Regression plots and Pearson correlations between the objective and subjective data were presented, and content analysis was performed for the qualitative data. Results Decreased resting heart rate was significantly correlated with increased heart rate variability (r=–0.92, P<.001). We found significant associations between self-reported responses and Oura ring measures: (1) positive emotions and heart rate variability (r=0.54, P<.001), (2) sleep quality and sleep score (r=0.52, P<.001), and (3) physical activity and step count (r=0.77, P<.001). In addition, deep sleep appeared to increase as light and rapid eye movement sleep decreased. The psychological measures of stress, depression, and anxiety appeared to decrease from baseline to post intervention. Furthermore, the participant had a high completion rate of the components of the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype and shared several positive experiences, such as an increased self-efficacy and a normal delivery. Conclusions The Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype shows promise for potential use by underserved pregnant women.« less
  5. CONTEXT With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting response from universities, engineering students find themselves in an unprecedented situation. In addition to stressors related to the curriculum, residential students across the United States are being asked to relocate away from campus and engage in distance learning. At the same time, social distancing requirements are limiting students’ ability to socialize, procure food and supplies, exercise, and remain employed and financially solvent. Some students will fall ill while others face the prospect of sick family members, and even deaths in the family. Prior research suggests that individuals living through this pandemic are likely to face stress, uncertainty, and fear that affects their mental health and academic performance for years to come. PURPOSE OR GOAL The purpose of this study was to understand the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting engineering students’ mental wellness, specifically stress, and how the effects differ for different groups of students. The research questions addressed are: 1) What effects has the pandemic had on baseline stress levels, and how do those vary by demographic group? 2) What effects has the pandemic had on quality of life, such as sleep habits and financial security,more »and how do those vary by demographic group? METHODS An online survey was conducted in the United States in May and June of 2020. More than 800 4-year engineering students who represented many engineering disciplines and universities responded. The survey used a modified version of the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale, which is a widely used and validated instrument to measure the effects of certain life events on stress. The data was analysed to determine the average increase in stress levels for students resulting from COVID-19, and which demographic groups have seen the most negative impact. We also report on which stress-inducing life-events were experienced most. OUTCOMES Latinx individuals and international students report statistically significantly higher levels of stress than the baseline population. Engineering students from other historically excluded identities, however,are not facing statistically significantly worse stress than their peers from historically over represented identities. Veterans fare better than the majority population on this metric.The data also indicates that different groups are more likely to experience different negative life-events because of COVID. CONCLUSIONS No previous research has examined the impacts of a global pandemic on engineering student stress and mental wellness. Our findings show that stress and mental wellness need to be understood intersectionally and that some underrepresented groups are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Understanding the impacts on students can help universities strategize and allocate limited resources most effectively to support student success. KEYWORDS Mental wellness; COVID-19; stress« less