Adolescent Sleep Quality Mediates Family Chaos and Adolescent Mental Health: A Daily Diary-Based Study


Psychological Sciences

Document Type


Publication Source

Journal of Family Psychology. April 2019, Volume 33, Issue 3, Pages 259-269.

Publication Date



The aim of the current study was to examine adolescents’ sleep duration and quality as potential mediators of the association between chaotic and disorganized family environments and adolescent anxiety and depressive symptoms. A total of 193 adolescent (ages 14 –17; Mage 15.7 years old, SD .94; 54.4% female; 71% White) and parent dyads completed baseline, online surveys, and adolescents also completed online 7-day, twice-daily sleep diaries. Parents (Mage 47.6 years old, SD 5.4; 80% female) reported on levels of family chaos, socioeconomic status (SES), and school start times, whereas adolescents completed daily reports of their sleep duration and quality (morning diary) and their anxiety and depressive symptoms (evening diary). At the within-person level, daily fluctuations in both sleep duration and quality were significantly linked to corresponding daily fluctuations in anxiety and depressive symptoms. At the between-person level, adjusting for parenting quality; adolescents’ age, gender, daytime napping, school start time; and the family’s SES, we found that adolescent sleep quality mediated the association between family chaos and disorganization and symptoms of anxiety and depression. The current study illuminates the potential influence that family chaos and disorganization play in adolescents’ sleep and mental health symptomatology and underscores the need to assess the family context to support better adolescent health and well-being.


adolescence, sleep, family, mental health