Date on Honors Thesis






Examining Committee Member

Dr. Gage Jordan, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Jana Hackathorn, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Megan St. Peters, Committee Member


College students are likely to experience stress due to increased responsibilities, more demanding coursework, and maintaining a balance between academics and social life. Indeed, college students are at risk for experiencing clinically-significant depressive and anxiety symptoms, as well as sleep disturbances, likely as a result of these challenges. Although the relationship between these affective variables and college stressors are well-documented, less attention has been given to the factors that may help promote better sleep, with the majority of research documenting the intrinsic bidirectional nature of mood and sleep (e.g., lack of sleep leads to worse mood which further exacerbates sleep quality). However, some emergent literature has pointed to individual differences (e.g., stress levels) and class rank as important variables. Thus, this thesis aimed to further delineate and explore relationships between sleep quality and affective variables in college students. There was a marginal association between class rank and sleep quality, such that as class rank increased (e.g., as an upperclassmen) the self-reported sleep quality became worse. Further, the relationships between perceived stress and loneliness with class rank and sleep quality respectively did not have a significant association. However, a positive association between depressive symptoms and poor sleep quality emerged, as well as a mediation relationship wherein social anxiety leads to perceived stress which in turn leads to poor sleep quality was supported.

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Psychology Commons