Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Maureen Groer, PHD, RN, FAAN

Committee Member

Theresa Beckie, PhD, RN, FAHA

Committee Member

Cecile Lengacher, PhD, RN, FAAN

Committee Member

Mary Webb, PhD, RN


Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale


The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to assess for the relationships among sleep disturbances, depressive symptoms, inflammatory markers, and sexual trauma in female veterans. This may contribute to an understanding of the physical and mental health effects of sexual trauma in female veterans. Correlational analyses were conducted to evaluate the strength of these relationships. A reported history of sexual trauma was significantly correlated with longer sleep latencies, poorer sleep efficiency, shorter sleep durations, more daytime dysfunction, and poorer overall sleep quality in female veterans. A reported history of sexual trauma was also significantly correlated with depressive symptoms including anhedonia and a negative affect in female veterans. No significant correlations were noted between inflammatory markers and a reported history of sexual trauma in female veterans. Female veterans with a reported history of sexual trauma had more trouble falling and staying asleep, had more trouble functioning during daytime hours, and had total poorer sleep quality. These veterans also appeared depressed and they found normally pleasurable activities unenjoyable. Disturbed sleep and depressive symptoms may be risk factors in the development of chronic health diseases. By assessing and treating the sleep disturbances and depressive symptoms experienced by sexually traumatized female veterans, nurses may help to prevent the development of costly and deadly chronic diseases

Included in

Nursing Commons