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23-06-2017 | Uitgave 6/2017

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 6/2017

The role of perceived sleep norms in subjective sleep appraisals and sleep-related illness behavior

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Uitgave 6/2017
Auteurs:
Mazheruddin M. Mulla, Jerome A. Lewis, James C. Hamilton, Joshua Tutek, Sarah E. Emert, Tricia H. Witte, Kenneth L. Lichstein

Abstract

The present investigation sought to extend extant research on subjective sleep complaints by examining their relation to perceived sleep norms. Results from two studies showed that individuals’ distress and illness behavior in response to symptoms of fatigue and non-restorative sleep was influenced by their perceptions of peer norms for those symptoms. Individuals who believed they experienced a greater degree of fatigue and non-restorative sleep than their peers reported more distress arising from those symptoms, and were also more likely to seek social support and medical treatment for them. Furthermore, participants who scored higher in neuroticism were more likely to believe they experienced worse fatigue and non-restorative sleep than their peers, and thus reported higher symptom-related distress, and higher likelihood of engaging in illness behaviors. These results provide preliminary evidence of the clinical relevance of perceived norms in the way individuals respond to and manage sleep related problems.

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