Chronic sleep loss among youth is a worldwide epidemic and is associated with negative outcomes in physical, emotional, and educational well-being. Since research on its predictors is often limited to high-income countries, it is unclear if these findings are generalizable to all populations. To address this gap, this dissertation examined the correlates of sleep behaviors and adequacy in Guyana, a middle-income country. The first objective was to investigate the impacts of community locale; household poverty, size, and number of youths; and individual absolute age and age rank on adolescents’ sleep behaviors and adequacy. The second objective was to examine the associations between sleep behaviors and activity patterns with a specific focus on education, physical activity, and media use. The final objective was to examine the associations between sleep behaviors and two contributors to well-being: self-esteem and anthropometric indices.
This cross-sectional study included 73 Guyanese girls (mean age = 14.5 years) from rural and urban communities. Time allocation, physical activity, and sleep behaviors (nap-duration, bedtime, rise-time, night-bed-duration, and sleep-duration) were assessed with interviews and monitored up to 7 consecutive days using waist-worn accelerometers. Multidimensional self-esteem was assessed using Harter's Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents. Anthropometrics included weight, BMI, and body fat percentage.
Similar to other countries, Guyanese urban youth reported significantly later bedtimes than rural youth, and increasing age was associated with later bedtime and shorter night-bed-duration. Unlike previous reports, increasing household poverty in Guyana were associated with longer night-bed-duration and excessive sleep, suggesting that a broader definition of poverty that accounts for indicators of health, education, and standard of living may provide additional insight into forms of extreme poverty that are rarely experienced in high-income countries. In the Guyanese setting, increased time on homework and cell phones were associated with poorer sleep outcomes, suggesting that adolescents are more likely to forgo sleep in order to spend more time on activities that may improve their educational and social status. Surprisingly, television viewing was associated with improved sleep behaviors, suggesting that health researchers and practitioners should not assume that the introduction of a new technology will consistently and universally impact health and behavior. Even with these differences, the relationships between sleep and indicators of emotional and physical well-being among Guyanese youth mirrored those reported in other settings, supporting prior research that suggests an underlying biological relationship between sleep and well-being. These results highlight the need for more sleep studies in underrepresented populations to gain a comprehensive understanding of environmental correlates of adolescent sleep behaviors and the daily trade-offs adolescents are willing to make that may compromise sleep. This will enable researchers to develop effective, targeted, and culturally appropriate solutions to the global public health issue of poor sleep health in youth.
|Advisor:||Vitzthum, Virginia J.|
|Commitee:||Wiley, Andrea, Sterling, Marvin, Obeng, Cecilia|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biology, Caribbean Studies|
|Keywords:||Adolescents, Media use, Poverty, Sleep, Time allocation, Well-being|
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