A Study Exploring the Relationship Between Racial Discrimination, Depression, Anxiety, and Stress on Sleep Quality

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Rampally, Lolasri
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Prior studies have shown that discrimination experiences have a positive association on adults' symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress as well as on their sleep patterns. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress appear to be associated with age, with younger adults experiencing higher levels of discrimination than older adults. The findings of this study may aid in evaluating the validity of prior literature and also exploring this further by studying the relationship between discrimination and symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety with gender as a moderating variable. The present study is the first to examine COVID-19's effects on symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, sleep patterns, and discrimination, which may have been caused by the pandemic. A total of 582 people between the ages of 18 and 79 participated in this study. In part 1 of the study, participants were asked to complete online questionnaires such as DASS for symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, PSQI for Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, DI for discriminatory index, and general questions about how their lives have been affected by COVID-19. After 48 hours, the participants take part in the second part of the experiment, during which they complete a questionnaire about stress coping strategies and a memory test for the images they've seen in the first part of the experiment. Three hierarchical regression analyses are performed to investigate whether adding variables such as DI, age and gender could significantly increase the variance accounted for in the outcome/criterion variables (i.e., PSQI and DASS). While there is a statistically significant relationship between DASS and PSQI, DI and DASS with age as a moderator, and DI and DASS with gender, the inclusion of the interaction terms for DI and gender or DI and age were not statistically significant indicating that there is no interaction effect which explains variance above and beyond the two independent variables separately. Future studies may modify parts of this study to observe race-related differences, such as increasing the sample size or changing the DI by adding race as a moderator variable.
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