Factors associated with sleep disturbance in women of Mexican descent

Marysue V. Heilemann, Shonali M. Choudhury, Felix Salvador Kury, Kathryn A. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The aims were to identify the most useful parameters of acculturation in relation to self-reported sleep disturbance and describe risk factors for sleep disturbance in women of Mexican descent. Background. Little is known about acculturation as a factor for poor sleep in the context of other personal factors such as income or sense of resilience or mastery for Latinas in the United States. Design. This study was a secondary analysis of cross sectional survey data. Methods. Personal factors were incorporated into a modification of the Conceptual Framework of Impaired Sleep to guide our secondary analysis of self-reported sleep disturbance. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 312 women of Mexican descent of childbearing age (21-40years) located in an urban California community were collected and previously analysed in relation to depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder. The General Sleep Disturbance Scale (in English and Spanish) was used to assess sleep disturbance. Data was collected in 1998 from September through December. Results. Early socialization to the United States during childhood was the most useful acculturation parameter for understanding self-reported sleep disturbance in this sample. In a multivariate regression analysis, three factors (higher acculturation, lower income and higher depressive symptoms) were statistically significant in accounting for 40% of the variance in sleep disturbance. Conclusion. When low income Latinas of Mexican descent report sleep problems, clinicians should probe for environmental sleep factors associated with low income, such as noise, over-crowding and exposure to trauma and violence, and refer the woman to psychotherapy and counselling rather than merely prescribing a sleep medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2256-2266
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Latinas
  • Mastery
  • Nursing
  • Resilience
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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