Danica Slavish

Danica Slavish
University of North Texas | UNT · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

84
Publications
6,993
Reads
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831
Citations
Citations since 2017
79 Research Items
787 Citations
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Introduction
I am a health psychologist interested in examining the behavioral and physiological pathways linking sleep, stress, and health over time. Specifically, I examine how cognition and emotion relate to sleep, and how inflammation may be a pathway between sleep and disease. To measure and assess these constructs, I employ ecologically-valid designs, ambulatory psychophysiology techniques, and longitudinal data analyses.
Education
August 2012 - May 2017
Pennsylvania State University
Field of study
  • Biobehavioral Health
August 2012 - May 2015
Pennsylvania State University
Field of study
  • Biobehavioral Health
August 2008 - May 2012
Beloit College
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (84)
Article
Full-text available
There is burgeoning interest in the ability to detect inflammatory markers in response to stress within naturally occurring social contexts and/or across multiple time points per day within individuals. Salivary collection is a less invasive process than current methods of blood collection and enables intensive naturalistic methodologies, such as t...
Article
Full-text available
Although a relationship between mood and pain has been established cross-sectionally, little research has examined this relationship using momentary within-person data. We examined whether baseline depressive symptoms and within-person levels of negative and positive mood predicted momentary pain among 31 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)....
Article
Full-text available
The psychological mechanisms by which depressed mood can lead to impaired sleep and poorer overall health remain unclear. The goal of this study was to investigate the extent to which a tendency to ruminate accounts for the associations between depressed mood and both sleep quality and self-reported health in 165 healthy young adults. Self-reported...
Article
Objective/background: Prior research has emphasized the bidirectional relationships between sleep, stress, and affective states, such as depression. Given the inherent variability and fluctuations associated with sleep, assessing how sleep and affective variables function within a dynamic system may help further uncover possible causes and consequ...
Article
Full-text available
Poor sleep health is consistently associated with the initiation of substance use, development of substance use disorders (SUDs), dropout from treatment, and return to use. Quality sleep health holds promise as a modifiable factor that can reduce the occurrence and severity of SUDs. Unfortunately, social workers typically receive little to no train...
Article
Objectives: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms have been linked to sleep disturbances. Limited work has explored how positive affect processes may account for this relationship. Advancing research in this area, we utilized a multi-study design to investigate the role of positive affect processes (levels of positive affect, positive emot...
Article
Firefighters are at increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and sleep disturbances due to occupational trauma exposure as well as the nature of their job (e.g., shift work, workplace stress). PTSD symptoms co-occur with sleep disturbances, including poor sleep quality, short sleep duration, and low sleep efficiency. No publ...
Article
Objective/Background Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by substantial disruptions in sleep quality, continuity, and depth. Sleep problems also may exacerbate PTSD symptom severity. Understanding how PTSD and sleep may reinforce one another is critical for informing effective treatments. Patients/methods In a sample of 452 Worl...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals from minoritized racial/ethnic groups have higher levels of circulating inflammatory markers. However, the mechanisms underlying these differences remain understudied. The objective of this study was to examine racial/ethnic variations in multiple markers of inflammation and whether impaired sleep contributes to these racial/ethnic diff...
Article
Collegiate athletes may be vulnerable to sleep disturbances during the COVID-19 pandemic. We examined demographic-, sports-, and COVID-19-related differences in sleep disturbances among collegiate athletes during the first two to three months of COVID-19 and determined the strongest relationships to sleep in regression models. Data were collected f...
Article
The COVID‐19 pandemic has resulted in substantial changes in individual and socio‐economic factors that may negatively impact sleep health. We examined associations between COVID‐19 related distress and sleep among trauma‐exposed South Asian adults in the United States. Since a health advantage among foreign‐born individuals has been previously not...
Article
Background and objectives: Evidence links posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with positive memory characteristics. To extend this research, we utilized daily diary data to examine (1) concurrent/lagged associations between daily PTSD symptom severity and positive memory vividness/accessibility; and (2) associations between baseline-assessed posi...
Article
Sleep disturbances are a core feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can affect PTSD onset, maintenance, and recovery. However, there is conflicting evidence about the directionality of sleep and PTSD symptoms, particularly at the daily level. The current systematic review summarizes the literature on within-person associations between...
Article
Habitual sleep duration and efficiency vary widely by age, gender, and racial/ethnic identity. Despite growing research on the importance of night‐to‐night, intraindividual variability (IIV) in sleep, few studies have examined demographic differences in sleep IIV. The present study describes typical sleep IIV overall and by demographics among healt...
Article
Study objectives: Shift work is common, yet does not always result in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) defined shift work sleep disorder (SWD). This study reports on the reliability and validity of the DSM-5 informed Shift Work Disorder Index (SWDI), the presence of probable SWD in nurses, and demographi...
Article
Introduction Increased exposure and reactivity to daytime stressors may heighten the frequency and severity of nightmares. Although research has examined the role of personality traits such as neuroticism in nightmares, it is unknown if other hypervigilance-related characteristics predict nightmares. Social vigilance, or monitoring one’s social env...
Article
Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in substantial changes in social interactions, work schedules, and socioeconomic factors that may negatively impact sleep onset, maintenance, and quality. The ongoing stress of the pandemic also may exacerbate existing racial/ethnic disparities in sleep health. In this study, we examined the effects o...
Article
Introduction Poor sleep health is common among individuals in early treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs) and may serve an important role in predicting SUD outcomes. However, sleep parameters have been inconsistently linked with risk of relapse, perhaps because previous research has focused on mean values of sleep parameters (e.g., total sle...
Article
Study objectives: Characterize associations between sleep impairments and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, including anger, in service members seeking treatment for PTSD. Methods: Ninety-three US Army personnel recruited into a PTSD treatment study completed the baseline assessment. State of the science sleep measurements included...
Article
Background Nursing is a demanding occupation characterized by dramatic sleep disruptions. Yet most studies on nurses’ sleep treat sleep disturbances as a homogenous construct and do not use daily measures to address recall biases. Using person-centered analyses, we examined heterogeneity in nurses' daily sleep patterns in relation to psychological...
Article
Objective: Stressors and worries related to the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the onset and exacerbation of psychological symptoms such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Using a microlongitudinal framework, we uniquely investigated bidirectional associations between daily-level PTSD symptoms and COVID-19 worries. Method: Data from...
Article
Full-text available
Nurses experience poor sleep and high stress due to demanding work environments. Night shift work may exacerbate stress-sleep associations. We examined bidirectional associations between daily stress and sleep, and moderation by shift worker status and daily work schedule. 392 nurses (92% female, mean age = 39.54) completed 14 days of sleep diaries...
Preprint
Full-text available
Study Objectives: Habitual sleep duration and efficiency vary widely by age, gender, and racial/ethnic identity. Despite growing research on the importance of night-to-night, intraindividual variability (IIV) in sleep, few studies have examined demographic differences in sleep IIV. The present study describes typical sleep IIV overall and by demogr...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research highlights a variety of negative outcomes associated with intraindividual variability in positive affect (PA) and in sleep. Thus, this study examined the associations of variability in multiple dimensions of sleep (quality, duration, wake after sleep onset, bedtime, rise-time) with mean and variability in PA. For 7 days, morning and...
Article
Nurses experience poor sleep and high stress due to demanding work environments. Night shift work is common among nurses and may exacerbate stress–sleep associations. We examined bidirectional associations between daily stress and sleep, and moderation by recent shift worker status and daily work schedule among nurses. Participants were 392 nurses...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Sleep may be especially important for maintaining health and well-being in daily life amid the stress of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This preregistered study examined the associations of sleep quality, duration, and efficiency with next-day physical symptoms, affect, and stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nort...
Conference Paper
Video games are a popular form of entertainment, and their popularity is projected to grow in many industrialized nations. Research has indicated that video game usage could have potential benefits and drawbacks on health. One such drawback is poor sleep. Short sleep and poor-quality sleep are linked to increased risk for depression, obesity, all-c...
Article
Objectives Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) severity relates to positive memory retrieval difficulties. One variable potentially influencing this relation is sleep difficulties. We examined moderating effects of sleep difficulties (duration and quality) on relations between PTSD severity and count of specific positive memories covarying for age...
Article
Introduction Nurses may experience frequent nightmares due to stressful work environments. Some studies estimate that 35% of nurses experience nightmares related to experiences at work. Nightmares may also exacerbate stress among nurses, although this has yet to be tested empirically. We examined daily bidirectional associations between stress seve...
Article
Introduction Nurses are subject to stressful work environments, which may negatively impact their sleep and increase their risk for nightmares. Previous studies have shown that women, night shift workers, and individuals with comorbid psychological conditions are more likely to report nightmares. Yet no studies have comprehensively examined demogra...
Article
Introduction Insomnia, shiftwork (i.e., circadian rhythm disruptions) and insufficient sleep are common among nurses and healthcare workers. Each of these sleep problems can contribute to physical (e.g., inflammation, musculoskeletal pain, cardiovascular disease and heart rate variability, indigestion, and menstrual cycle irregularity) and mental (...
Article
Introduction Disturbed sleep is common among young adults and is associated with poorer health and developmental outcomes. A large percentage of young adults also struggle with low self-esteem. Together, disturbed sleep and low self-esteem may deplete coping resources, heighten to reactivity to stress, and increase disease risk. Yet no studies to o...
Article
As the assessment of salivary markers of inflammation gains popularity in stress research, understanding factors that influence these markers' reactivity to stress is important. A recent meta-analysis synthesized literature on changes in salivary markers of inflammation in response to acute stressors in adults. As a supplement to this, we present p...
Article
Nurses may experience frequent nightmares due to stressful work environments. Nightmares may also exacerbate stress among nurses, although this has yet to be tested empirically. We examined daily bidirectional associations between stress severity and nightmares, and moderation by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. 392 nurses (92% female...
Article
There is an increasing interest in using saliva to measure inflammatory biomarkers. Compared to blood, saliva is non-invasive, requires a lower biosafety classification, and requires less specialized personnel to collect. As the assessment of inflammation in saliva becomes more popular in psychoneuroimmunology research, the development of gold-stan...
Article
Objective/Background Disrupted sleep can be a cause and a consequence of affective experiences. However, daily longitudinal studies show sleep assessed via sleep diaries is more consistently associated with positive and negative affect than sleep assessed via actigraphy. The objective of the study was to test whether sleep parameters derived from a...
Article
Many individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffer from insomnia and nightmares, which may be symptoms of PTSD or constitute partially independent comorbid disorders. Sleep disturbances are resistant to current treatments for PTSD, and those suffering from PTSD, insomnia, and nightmares have worse PTSD treatment outcomes. In add...
Article
Full-text available
Study Objectives Nurses are a group at high risk for nightmares, yet little is known about the rate of nightmare disorder and associated psychosocial factors in this group in part attributable to the lack of a self-report questionnaire to assess DSM-5 criteria for nightmare disorder. Aims of the current study were to 1) report on development and in...
Article
Objective Insomnia and depression have been inconsistently associated with inflammation. Age may be one important moderator of these associations. This study examined associations between insomnia and depression with inflammatory biomarkers in nurses and how these associations varied by age. Design: Participants were 392 nurses ages 18-65 (M age =...
Article
Background Disturbed sleep can be a cause and a consequence of elevated stress. Yet intensive longitudinal studies have revealed that sleep assessed via diaries and actigraphy is inconsistently associated with daily stress. Purpose We expanded this research by examining daily associations between sleep and stress using a threefold approach to asse...
Article
Objective: Disturbed sleep is common among nurses and is associated with morbidity and mortality. Inflammation may be one mechanism linking sleep and disease. Yet most studies have relied on retrospective questionnaires to assess sleep, which fail to account for night-to-night fluctuations in sleep across time (i.e., intraindividual variability (I...
Article
Background Nightmares and insomnia are significant concerns that commonly co-occur with each other and with other health disorders. Limited research has examined the unique and shared aspects of insomnia and nightmares, and little is known about sleep in US National Guard personnel. This study sought to determine the prevalence and psychosocial cor...
Conference Paper
Introduction Disturbed sleep can be both a cause and a consequence of increased stress. Yet intensive longitudinal studies have demonstrated that sleep assessed via sleep diaries and actigraphy is inconsistently associated with daily stress. We expanded this research by examining daily associations between sleep and stress using a three-fold approa...
Article
Introduction Nurses work in stressful environments and often have rotating work schedules, which may put them at risk for disturbed sleep and health. Poor quality and short sleep duration are strong risk factors for high blood pressure (HBP). Yet few studies have examined these associations in nurses, who may be a particularly at-risk sample. To ad...
Article
Introduction Longitudinal studies have shown daily stress and sleep are bidirectionally associated. Nurses are particularly likely to experience sleep disturbances and high stress due to demanding work environments. Night shift work may be a unique stressor for nurses that exacerbates associations between stress and sleep. Using a within-person des...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The emotion of anger and behavioral acts of aggression can lead to severe negative consequences, including family violence, legal charges, and death. Anger can be a symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), particularly in service members. Service members report difficulties managing their anger and trouble with the subsequent r...
Article
Introduction Nurses report a higher prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than the general population, and approximately 18% of nurses report having depression. Nightmares are a common symptom of PTSD, and both nightmares and PTSD are correlated with depression. Nightmares may represent a possible clinical target for improving outcomes...
Article
Introduction The accurate estimation of sleep is critical for understanding who is most at risk for sleep disorders and associated disease outcomes. Individuals who overestimate sleep disturbances may be at increased risk for insomnia. A few studies have shown demographic differences in the accuracy of sleep estimation when comparing subjective and...
Article
Background Salivary biomarkers of inflammation are increasingly used in stress research. This systematic review and meta-analysis provides a quantitative summary of changes in salivary inflammatory markers in response to acute stress. Method The review included 1,558 participants (42 unique samples, 33 studies) obtained through electronic database...
Article
Study Objectives Stress is associated with poor and short sleep, but the temporal order of these variables remains unclear. This study examined the temporal and bi-directional associations between stress and sleep, and explored the moderating role of baseline sleep complaints, using daily, intensive longitudinal designs. Methods Participants were...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Research suggests strong associations between habitual sleep parameters (eg, mean duration, timing, efficiency), perceived stress, and insomnia symptoms. The associations between intraindividual variability (IIV; night-to-night within-person variation) in sleep, perceived stress, and insomnia have not been explored. This study examined...
Article
Objective/background: Prospective, daily sleep diaries are the gold standard for assessing subjective sleep but are not always feasible for cross-sectional or epidemiological studies. The current study examined psychometric properties of two retrospective questionnaire versions of the Consensus Sleep Diary. Participants/methods: College students...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Emerging evidence suggests that higher circulating levels of inflammatory biomarkers in blood are associated with higher negative affect (NA) and lower positive affect (PA). To our knowledge, the unique associations between NA and PA in daily life and salivary biomarkers of inflammation have not been examined. This study examined these...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is an increasing interest in the ability to non-invasively assess biological markers of stress. Measures of inflammation following exposure to acute stress have been assessed in saliva, but a systematic review and meta-analysis of the reliability of changes in response to stress has not been conducted. The proposed review aims to...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Night-to-night sleep variability is common among college students due to fluctuating school, work, and social schedules. Greater intraindividual variability (IIV) in sleep is associated with adverse health-related outcomes including greater depressive, anxiety, and insomnia symptoms, weight gain, and higher body mass index (BMI). Howev...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The behavioral model of insomnia theorizes predispositions make people susceptible to developing insomnia in the face of precipitants. Few comprehensive longitudinal studies have investigated both predispositions and precipitants in the prediction of the development of insomnia. Many military service members face a significant potentia...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Nurses experience stressful work environments and rotating work schedules, placing them at increased risk for sleep disruptions and variable sleep. Disturbed average sleep and more variability in sleep are associated with greater functional impairment, increased risk for depressive disorder, and a greater prevalence of chronic illness....
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Among active duty service members (SMs), little research has examined the prevalence and correlates of nightmares. The current study aims to expand this research and determine the prevalence and correlates of nightmares in 4,119 United States Army personnel scheduled for deployment. Methods Active-duty SMs were recruited at unit-level...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Insomnia, depression, and older age have been associated with elevated levels of systemic inflammation. Evening chronotype also is associated with impaired health, which may be partially mediated through increases in inflammation. However, it is not well understood how insomnia, chronotype, and depression may interact with age to predi...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Nightmares involve disturbing images and create distress in many individuals. Approximately 50-80% of the general population reports experiencing regular nightmares or stress dreams. Previous research suggests that lapses in breathing during sleep may induce nightmares. Therefore, the present study examined if obstructive sleep apnea s...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Insomnia and pain have been shown to increase risk for development of depression and substance use disorders. Depression, substance use, stress, and pain are also strongly correlated with sleep impairment. No studies have examined associations between insomnia, pain, stress, substance use, and depression in a sample of nurses, who may...
Article
Full-text available
Study Objectives: Intraindividual variability (IIV) in sleep may be a risk factor for disease above the influence of mean sleep. Associations between IIV in sleep and risk for a comprehensive set of common medical and mental health conditions have not been assessed in a representative sample. Methods: The current study examined mean and IIV in tot...
Article
Full-text available
College women experience more consequences (e.g., blacking out, unprotected/unwanted sex) on days when they engage in their heaviest drinking. To inform prevention efforts, research is needed to understand decision-making processes that influence women’s drinking behaviors at the event level. The present study used ecological momentary assessment (...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Insomnia is associated with elevated inflammation; however, studies have not investigated if this relationship is confounded with depression and neuroticism, which are associated with insomnia and inflammation. The current study examined the association of insomnia symptoms with C-reactive protein (CRP) and with interleukin-6 (IL-6), ind...
Article
Full-text available
Objective/Background: Actigraphy is an inexpensive and objective wrist-worn activity sensor that has been validated for the measurement of sleep onset latency (SOL), number of awakenings (NWAK), wake after sleep onset (WASO), total sleep time (TST), and sleep efficiency (SE) in both middle-aged and older adults with insomnia. However, actigraphy ha...
Article
Full-text available
Early life adversity (ELA) has been associated with pain symptomatology in adulthood, but mechanisms and moderators of these associations are unclear. Using recall based and concurrently assessed self-report data, we examined associations between ELA, mood, sleep, and recent pain intensity and interference, and whether optimism and perceived contro...
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction: Although stress and sleep disturbances are associated cross-sectionally, evidence for the directionality of this relationship in daily life is unclear. Furthermore, most studies of stress and sleep do not unpack multiple facets of sleep using objective means. We sought to determine 1) whether increased frequency of daily stressors pre...
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction: Prior studies have inferred an association between subjective sleep, inflammatory cytokines and telomere length as well as between telomere length and various diseases including certain cancers. Psychosocial factors i.e. perceived stress have also been associated with shorter telomere length. This pilot study evaluates the effect of o...
Poster
Introduction: Research has established the detrimental impact of short REM duration on negative affect. However, the relationship between REM duration and positive affect is understudied, particularly using objective measures of sleep in naturalistic settings. The present study sought to determine if nightly REM duration was associated with self-re...
Article
Neuroticism is strongly implicated in the development of sleep impairment and sleep disorders such as insomnia. However, it is unclear if neuroticism is a direct predictor of sleep, and/or if it moderates associations between related psychological processes (e.g., rumination and negative affect, or NA) and sleep in daily life. We investigated: 1) n...
Poster
Full-text available
Pain is frequently reported among young adults but relatively understudied in this population. Sleep and affect disturbances are often comorbid with chronic pain in young adults, yet the day-to-day dynamics between these variables are not well understood. This research examined bidirectional associations between daily pain, affect, and nightly slee...

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