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The Moderation of Raising One’s Grandchildren on the Relation Between Sleep and Depressive Symptoms

Authors Stearns MA, Nadorff DK

Received 29 January 2020

Accepted for publication 3 August 2020

Published 24 August 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 615—626


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sutapa Mukherjee

Melanie A Stearns, Danielle K Nadorff

Department of Psychology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi, MS, USA

Correspondence: Danielle K Nadorff Email

Background: Recent evidence has shown that poor quality sleep is associated with depression, particularly among older individuals. Moreover, given that grandparent caregivers are more likely to report being depressed, it is crucial to identify whether poor sleep quality results in more depressive symptoms when older individuals are also caring for their grandchildren. Thus, the current study examined how caregiving status was associated with the relation between sleep quality and depressive symptoms and the further moderation of gender (ie, 3-way interaction).
Participants: The sample (N = 459, Mean age = 62.43, 58.40% female) was a subset of individuals recruited in the second wave of the MIDUS project completed in 2009.
Methods: Participants answered the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and a question regarding grandparent caregiving status. Moderation analyses were conducted using AMOS 26.0.
Results: The interaction between global sleep quality and grandparent caregiving status was significant in predicting depressive symptoms, and the interactions examining global sleep quality, subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, sleep efficacy, sleep medication, and daytime dysfunction were significant for males when examined separately, whereby increased sleep difficulties were associated with more depressive symptoms. In all sleep domains, the slope of the interactions was sharper for grandparent caregivers, particularly for males.
Conclusion: Significant differences between interactions for males and females indicated 3-way interactions, such that interactions were significant for males and not females. Therefore, the relation of sleep on depressive symptoms was dependent on grandparent caregivers’ status and gender.

Keywords: caregiving grandparents, depressive symptoms, sleep quality

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