Health  Vol.8 No.13 , October 2016
The Relation of Sleep, Distress, and Coping Strategies—What Male and Female Students Can Learn from Each Other?
Abstract: Sleep quality, distress, and coping strategies differ between male and female students. However, effects of gender on their relation have not been evaluated. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to confirm gender differences on sleep quality, chronic distress, and various coping strategies, as well as to examine gender differences in their relation to each other. A cross-sectional online study including several sleep-related self-report measures was completed by 6379 German students. After excluding all cases with missing data on the variables gender, psychiatric disorder, and medication, the final sample consisted of 5889 students with a mean age of 23.10 years (SD = 2.67) for men and 22.64 years (SD = 2.56) for women. Data from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Trier Inventory for Chronic Stress, and the Proactive Coping Inventory were analyzed. Results showed that women reported to have a poorer sleep quality, a higher level of chronic distress, and use social support more often than men. The hypothesized model revealed gender differences on the model level. However, these differences only occurred between avoidance coping and distress, as well as between various coping strategies. The biological gender influenced each of those three variables, but barely their relation to each other. Participants’ gender role might explain gender differences in coping strategies and their impact on distress. Furthermore, the type of stressor and subjective or objective measured sleep parameters might show more gender differences on this relation. Conclusively, gender-specific trainings or interventions are not necessary, however, gender differences should be considered during the implementation process.
Cite this paper: Faber, J. and Schlarb, A. (2016) The Relation of Sleep, Distress, and Coping Strategies—What Male and Female Students Can Learn from Each Other?. Health, 8, 1356-1367. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.813136.

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