Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Meghan Quinn

Committee Members

Adrian Bravo

Deborah Lee-Ferrand


Early childhood stressors (ECS) consist of certain emotional, physical, or sexual experiences that may have long term consequences including sleep problems. Previous research has also found that alcohol use can negatively affect sleep; however, few studies have investigated alcohol use as a moderator of the relationship between sleep and other variables. In the current study, we examined whether the relationship between a general measure of ECS and sleep in college students may be moderated by alcohol use, a common psychoactive substance among this age group. Additionally, we examined this model with emotional abuse and neglect as a measure of ECS. Seventy-three undergraduate students wore an Actiwatch for approximately one week to measure sleep quality (i.e., sleep latency and wake after sleep onset). Throughout this time, participants also completed daily diaries to assess sleep duration. Participants also responded to the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT). In contrast to our predictions, alcohol use did not moderate the relationship between general ECS and sleep, or the relationship between the combined emotional abuse and neglect scales and sleep. Future research on the moderating effect of alcohol use within the relationship between ECS and sleep should be done with a larger and more diverse sample. Additionally, future research should consider measuring use of alcohol as a coping strategy for ECS, and sleep outcomes that may be associated with this specific form of alcohol use.