• The Associations Among Sleep Problems, Emotion Dysregulation and Adjustment Over Time Among University Students

      Semplonius, Thalia; Department of Psychology
      Young adults experience a variety of changes when entering university (e.g., leaving home for the first time). Although some students adjust well to university, others may experience difficulties. Two problems that may be experienced are sleep problems and difficulties regulating emotion; importantly, both of these factors are associated with a variety of adjustment indicators. Throughout this dissertation, the three adjustment indicators that were of interest were physical activity, depressive symptoms and alcohol use as all three are common throughout university. As little work has examined the direction of effects between all of these factors, a longitudinal dataset was used to examine the relationships among these factors in two ways. Participants included 1132 first year undergraduate students (Time 1 Mage = 19.06 years, SD = 11.17 months). The first method was the use of a variable-centered analysis which was used in Studies 1 and 2. Study 1 focused on the relationships among sleep problems, emotion dysregulation, and physical activity and Study 2 focused on the relationships among sleep problems, emotion dysregulation, depressive symptoms, and alcohol use. Study 3 used a person-centered analysis which allowed for the examination of heterogeneity in the patterns of association between variables. Specifically, this study involved examining heterogeneity in the associations between sleep problems and emotion dysregulation, and how these patterns were related to depressive symptoms and alcohol use in both the short- and longterm. Overall, these studies indicate that sleep and emotion dysregulation are both bidirectionally related over time and also co-occur for a subgroup of individuals. The results also indicate that difficulties in adjustment experienced early on in university may have lasting effects.