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Social interaction and sleep as possible mechanisms of the association between loneliness and increased blood pressure

Yang, Shujun (2020) Social interaction and sleep as possible mechanisms of the association between loneliness and increased blood pressure. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Previous research has found that loneliness is associated with increased blood pressure in old adults (Hawkley, Masi, Berry, & Cacioppo, 2006; Hawkley, Thisted, Masi, & Cacioppo, 2010). However, later studies suggested that this association between loneliness and blood pressure may not be replicable. The present study examined whether there was an association between loneliness and blood pressure in a sample of 391 mid-aged and older adults (SHINE: Study of Health and Interactions in the Natural Environment), with loneliness measured by UCLA Loneliness Scale-Revised and blood pressure assessed during a four-day ambulatory monitoring study. Moreover, building on the loneliness model proposed by Hawkley and Cacioppo (2010), the current study examined whether social interaction quality and sleep may explain such a link between loneliness and increased blood pressure in this sample, with social interaction quality measured by ecological momentary assessment and sleep measured objectively by actigraphy and subjectively by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Findings showed that loneliness was not associated with blood pressure in mid-aged and older adults after controlling for age, sex, race, and education. Loneliness was also not related to Actigraphy-assessed sleep (total sleep time and sleep efficiency). However, loneliness was significantly related to lower self-reported sleep quality as well as to lower social interaction positivity and higher social interaction negativity among participants in daily life. The results of the current study have implications for current models of loneliness, social interactions, and health.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Yang, Shujunshy48@pitt.edushy480000-0001-7637-3899
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKamarck, Thomastkam@pitt.edutkam
Committee MemberMarsland, Annamarsland@pitt.edumarsland
Committee MemberInagaki, Tristeninagaki@pitt.eduinagaki
Committee MemberStewart,
Date: 1 May 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2020
Approval Date: 1 May 2020
Submission Date: 7 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 54
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: loneliness, ambulatory blood pressure, social interaction quality, sleep
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 19:28
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 19:28


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