Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

William Buhrow

Second Advisor

Rodger Bufford

Third Advisor

Joel Gregor


Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in the world. College students are more likely to experience depression than adults. Research has established a correlational relationship between sleep and depression (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Davidson, 2013; Franzen & Buysse, 2008, Lund, Reider, Whiting, & Prichard, 2010; Tsuno, Besset, & Ritchie, 2005; Van Bemmel, 1997) and suggests there is also a causational relationship between faith and lower rates of depressive symptoms (Baker & Cruickshank, 2009; Koenig, 2008a Koenig, 2001; Newport, Agrawal, & Witters, 2010; Reutter & Bigattie, 2014; Rosmarin et al., 2013). However, little research exists exploring how faith may ameliorate the relationship between sleep and depression.

In the present study, students attending four Protestant faith-based universities completed the American College Health Association’s (ACHA) National College Health Assessment II (NCHA II) between the fall of 2009 and spring of 2012. A Protestant Faith Variable (FV), Sleep Scale (SS), and Depression Scale (DS) were constructed from the NCHA II data. Multiple regression was used to see if faith ameliorates the relationship between sleep and depression and bivariate correlations were computed to explore the relationships between faith and sleep and between faith and depression. No significant relationship between faith and sleep was found however students who reported higher faith endorsed fewer depressive symptoms. In addition, faith was found to ameliorate the relationship between sleep and depression in that it decreased the strength of the relationship between sleep and depression. These findings generate further important questions for future research, including an examination of possible behavioral mediators of faith such as social support, contemplative and religious behaviors, and meaning making.

Included in

Psychology Commons