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Behav Sleep Med. 2009;7(1):2-19. doi: 10.1080/15402000802577736.

Marital happiness and sleep disturbances in a multi-ethnic sample of middle-aged women.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh.


Previous research suggests that divorced individuals, particularly women, have higher rates of sleep disturbances as compared to married individuals. Among the married, however, little is known about the association between relationship quality and sleep. The present study examined the association between marital happiness and self-reported sleep disturbances in a sample of midlife women drawn from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a multi-site, multi-ethnic, community-based study (N = 2,148). Marital happiness was measured using a single item from the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, and sleep disturbance was assessed using 4 items from the Women's Health Initiative Insomnia Rating Scale (WHIIRS). After controlling for relevant covariates, maritally happy women reported fewer sleep disturbances, with the association evident among Caucasian women and to a lesser extent among African American women.

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