ORCID ID

0000-0003-2523-3911

Date Awarded

Spring 2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Meghan Quinn

Committee Member

Adrian Bravo

Committee Member

Madelyn Labella

Abstract

Coping flexibility, the ability to match coping strategy choice to the demands of a situation, has been found to diminish the effects of daily stress. Despite the importance of high levels of coping flexibility, little research has explored factors that can predict one’s ability to demonstrate coping flexibility. One promising avenue for such research is the role of sleep. This research aims to explore the importance of sleep as a predictor of daily coping flexibility across two studies. Study one consists of one hundred and fifty college student participants who were recruited in the Spring 2021 semester at the College of William & Mary and asked to complete 14 days of diaries. For each entry, participants were asked about the most stressful event they experienced that day and were asked to complete a sleep quality indicator and the Coping Flexibility Questionnaire. Study two consists of eighty-seven participants who were recruited in the Fall 2021 semester at the College of William & Mary. Participants were asked to wear a Phillips Respironics Actiwatch band that uses an accelerometer to measure sleep for one week. Participants were asked to wear their band continuously and complete self-report daily diaries assessing their sleep and coping flexibility. In study one, we did not find a significant relationship between self-report sleep quality and coping flexibility. In study two, we again did not find a significant relationship between self-report sleep quality and coping flexibility. Additionally, in study two, we did not find significant relationships between actigraphy measures (i.e., onset latency or awake periods) and coping flexibility. In exploratory analyses examining whether sleep quality predicted delayed coping flexibility, we found that awake periods predicted coping flexibility a day later than initially hypothesized, such that as awake periods increased, coping flexibility decreased. Overall, our studies fail to demonstrate self-reported sleep quality, onset latency, or awake periods as a predictor of next-day strategy-situation fit coping flexibility, but does explore potential delayed effects.

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