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Sleep problems and adolescent peer-victimization : a problem-specific test of the cognitive model of insomnia

Hunter, Simon C. and Durkin, Kevin and Boyle, Jim and Rasmussen, Susan and Booth, Josephine (2012) Sleep problems and adolescent peer-victimization : a problem-specific test of the cognitive model of insomnia. In: British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference 2012, 2012-09-05 - 2012-09-07.

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Peer-victimisation is associated with sleep problems. Given the stability of sleep difficulties across the lifespan, their association with cognitive and emotional functioning, and the prevalence of adolescent peer-victimisation, it is important to identify moderators of this association. Drawing on cognitive theories of insomnia, we investigated whether rumination (worrying about being bullied) is a risk factor in the display of insomnia symptoms. Participants were 4292 adolescents who completed a self-report questionnaire. Analyses controlled for: gender, SES, ethnicity, school-stage, alcohol use, cigarette smoking, caffeine intake, lifetime drug use, and aggression. Rumination distinguished between adolescents with no sleep difficulties and those with moderate symptomatology (OR = 1.59) as did being bullied (not at all, either inside or outside school, both inside and outside school: OR = 2.28). Comparing adolescents with high symptomatology to those with no symptoms, rumination was not significant but being bullied was (OR = 6.83). However, rumination moderated this: Respondents bullied both inside and outside of school were 19.43 times more likely than other students to be in the high symptomatology group if they were ruminators than if they were not ruminators. Implications of these results for the cognitive model of insomnia, and for dealing with peer-victimisation, are discussed.