Sleep Quality and Health in an African American Sample

Date of Conferral







Anne Morris


The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to examine the association between African Americans' (AA) self-reported sleep quality and health problems in a community sample of adult AAs. This study was grounded in McEwen's theory that brief and long-term sleep deprivation triggers a stress response that increases allostatic load, which leads to ill health and poor sleep quality. The sample of volunteer participants for this study (N =121) was drawn from a community base of AA adults, aged 20 -70, who resided in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia and attended 1 of 3 local churches. Participants completed a self-administered survey consisting of structured standardized scales that covered the perception of stress, racism, sleep quality, social support, and perceived burden from physical and psychological symptoms. Multiple regression and correlation analyses were used to test hypothesized relationships among study variables and poor sleep quality. The results of this study found that health problems were positively correlated with poor sleep quality. The mediating and moderating role of social support, psychological stress, and racism on health and sleep quality were assessed. Psychological stress and perceived racism were found to mediate the relationship between poor sleep quality and health problems; however, social support did not. Psychological stress, perceived racism, and social support were not found to moderate the relationship between health problems and sleep quality. The results of this study contribute to knowledge and can inform health practice about the relationship of health problems and sleep quality among African Americans, as well as the role of stress and racism in exacerbating both health problems and sleep quality in this population.

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