The impact of sleep and psychiatric symptoms on alcohol consequences among young adults

Mary Beth Miller, Eliza Van Reen, David H. Barker, Brandy M. Roane, Brian Borsari, John E. McGeary, Ronald Seifer, Mary A. Carskadon

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective Independent lines of research have documented links between psychiatric symptoms and poor sleep quality, psychiatric symptoms and alcohol use, and alcohol use and poor sleep quality. The current study examined the synergistic effect of poor sleep quality and psychiatric symptoms on alcohol-related consequences in heavy-drinking young adults. Method Matriculating college students reporting at least one heavy drinking episode over the first nine weeks of the semester (N = 385, 52% female) were categorized as experiencing ‘good’ (n = 280) versus ‘poor’ sleep quality (n = 105) and screening ‘positive’ (n = 203) or ‘negative’ (n = 182) for a psychiatric disorder. Sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; psychiatric diagnosis was assessed using the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire; and alcohol-related consequences were assessed using the Brief Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire. General linear models were used to examine the main effects and interaction between sleep quality and psychiatric symptoms on alcohol-related consequences. Results Sleep quality moderated the association between psychiatric screen and alcohol-related consequences among heavy-drinking college students, such that psychiatric symptoms were associated with more alcohol-related consequences in the context of poor sleep quality. Conclusions The combination of poor sleep quality and psychiatric symptoms is associated with increased alcohol-related consequences among heavy-drinking college students. Given the significant interaction between these symptoms, healthcare providers are encouraged to screen for the presence of sleep and psychiatric disorders among heavy-drinking young adults and to provide empirically-supported treatments as appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-144
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume66
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

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Keywords

  • Binge drinking
  • College students
  • Heavy episodic drinking
  • Mental health

Cite this

Miller, M. B., Van Reen, E., Barker, D. H., Roane, B. M., Borsari, B., McGeary, J. E., Seifer, R., & Carskadon, M. A. (2017). The impact of sleep and psychiatric symptoms on alcohol consequences among young adults. Addictive Behaviors, 66, 138-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.11.023