The mediating effects of sleep in the relationship between traumatic stress and health symptoms in urban police officers

David Mohr*, Kumar Vedantham, Thomas Neylan, Thomas J. Metzler, Suzanne Best, Charles R. Marmar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Posttraumatic stress symptoms have been associated with increased health problems across numerous studies. Sleep disruption, one of the principal symptoms resulting from traumatic stress, has also been shown to produce health problems. This study explored the hypothesis that the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and health is mediated by sleep problems. Method: A sample of 741 police officers were administered measures of traumatic stress symptoms, sleep, health functioning, and somatic symptoms. Results: Traumatic stress symptoms were significantly related to both somatic symptoms (R2 = 0.18, p < .001) and health functioning (R2 = 0.02, p < .01). The relationship between somatic symptoms and traumatic stress symptoms was partially mediated by sleep (p < .001). The relationship between traumatic stress symptoms and health functioning was fully mediated by sleep. Conclusions: Although design characteristics, such as cross-sectional sampling, limit the inferences that can be drawn, these findings suggest that sleep may serve as an important mediator between traumatic stress and somatic symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-489
Number of pages5
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2003

Keywords

  • Health
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Sleep
  • Somatic symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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