Examining insomnia disorder and stress generation among individuals who have experienced involuntary job loss

Iva Skobic, Mattea Pezza, George Howe, Patricia L. Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Depressed individuals generate more stressful life events than non-depressed individuals. Like depressive symptoms, the symptoms of insomnia disorder may lead to impaired decision-making, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and emotion dysregulation, yet the prospective relationship with insomnia disorder and stress generation has not previously been investigated. We hypothesized that insomnia disorder within the first three months of involuntary job loss would lead to an increased number of stressful life events three-months later. Methods: This project employed a longitudinal design consisting of two timepoints occurring approximately 3 months apart. A sample 136 participants with complete data was sourced from the Assessing Daily Activity Patterns through Occupational Transitions study. Insomnia disorder was diagnosed using the Duke Structured Interview for Sleep Disorders, and the number of stressful life events was assessed using the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule. Results: A cross-lagged panel analysis utilizing Poisson and logistic regression techniques indicated that insomnia disorder at study baseline predicted an increased number of all stressful life events at follow-up (RR = 1.36, p = .01); conversely, stressful life events at baseline did not predict insomnia disorder (OR = 0.98, p = .87). Conclusion: These results support a stress-generation hypothesis of insomnia disorder. Findings highlight insomnia disorder as a potential target for intervention in the prevention of additional stress exposure among recently unemployed individuals, who have been shown to be at increased risk for adverse health and health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111585
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Insomnia
  • Job loss
  • Sleep disorder
  • Stress generation hypothesis
  • Stressful life events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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