Psychological Sciences

Document Type


Publication Source

Journal of American College Health

Publication Date



Objective: To examine poor sleep quality as a potential mediator between college students’ employment hours and depressive symptoms, and to examine if this mediation model might differ across students reporting different levels of financial strain.

Participants: The sample was collected through a multi-site study during the Spring of 2019 and included 792 undergraduates (M = 20.1, SD = 1.9) in Upstate New York.

Methods: Moderated mediation analyses based on cross-sectional self-report, online questionnaires.

Results: Increased work hours predicted greater sleep disturbance, which, in turn, predicted more depressive symptoms. Compared to students in more comfortable financial situations, this mediation model only emerged for students reporting more financial strain and lower family socio-economic status.

Conclusions: Student employment hours are a significant predictor of students’ mental well-being when considering their potential impact on their sleep. Furthermore, students reporting higher levels of financial stress are most at risk of being impacted by this process.


college, work hours, sleep, depressive symptoms, financial strain




This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of American College Health on 1/15/2020, available online:


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