Sleep and Happiness in Urban-Dwelling Older Adults in Ghana: A Serial Multiple Mediation Model of Generalized Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms

Sleep problems (SP) are highly prevalent and seriously affect health and well-being in old age. The aim of this study was to examine the association between SP and happiness in an urban-dwelling older sample. The authors further explore the effects of generalized anxiety and depressive symptoms in the SP-happiness link using serial mediating modeling. Data came from the 2016 to 2018 Aging, Health, Psychological Well-being, and Health-seeking Behavior Study in Ghana (n = 661). The authors measured happiness with the cross-culturally validated item on a five-point scale. The GAD-7 and the CESD-8, respectively, assessed generalized anxiety and depressive symptoms. Participants reported nighttime and daytime SP in the last 30 days. The SPSS-based Hayes' PROCESS macro program (Model 6) was constructed to quantify the hypothesized mediation effect. The analysis included 661 adults aged greater than or equal to 50 years (mean age = 65.53 [SD] = 11.89 years; 65.20% women). After full adjustment, path models showed that SP was negatively associated with happiness (β = -0.1277, 95%CI = -0.15950 to -0.096). Bootstrapping estimates revealed that the SP-happiness link was serially mediated via generalized anxiety representing 8.77%, depressive symptoms yielding 18.95%, and anxiety symptoms→depressive symptoms accounting for 26.70% of the total effect. Generalized anxiety and depressive symptoms may explain the negative association between SP and happiness in urban-dwelling older adults in the sub-Saharan African (SSA) context. Interventions, social and clinical, to improve happiness through sleep quality should include ways to improve mental health. Longitudinal and cross-cultural data are warranted to assess the bi-directionality of this relationship.
Funding Information
  • Lingnan University (RPG1129310)
  • Research Grants Council, University Grants Committee

This publication has 41 references indexed in Scilit: