Sleep complaints predict increases in resting blood pressure following marital separation.

Kendra N. Krietsch, Ashley E. Mason, David A. Sbarra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Although marital separation and divorce are associated with many negative health outcomes, few studies examine the psychophysiological mechanisms that may give rise to these outcomes. This study examined changes in resting blood pressure (BP) as a function of sleep complaints in recently divorced adults. Recently separated adults (n = 138; 38 men) completed a self-report measure of sleep complaints and a resting blood pressure (BP) assessment in the laboratory at three occasions across 7.5 months. Multilevel analyses revealed that although sleep complaints were not associated with concurrent BP, sleep complaints predicted significant increases in both systolic and diastolic BP at the subsequent laboratory visit. In addition, time since the separation from an ex-partner moderated the association between sleep complaints at baseline and resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) 3 months later. People who reported high sleep complaints 10 weeks or more after their separation demonstrated greater increases in SBP. In recently separated adults, greater sleep complaints may index increased risk for future increases in BP. This work helps pinpoint one potential mechanistic pathway linking marital separation with an important, health-relevant biological outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1204-1213
Number of pages10
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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