Lay awake with a racing mind: The associations between sexual objectification, insomnia, and affective symptoms

Yufei JIANG, Hiu Lam Natalie WONG, Ying Chuen CHAN, Kai Tak POON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Background: Sexual objectification is a form of interpersonal maltreatment that women may experience in daily life. Research has focused on testing how it leads to various psychological distresses. However, little research has examined its influences on women's sleep quality, the underlying psychological mechanism, and the potential implication for affective symptoms. We addressed this research gap by testing whether sexual objectification predicted perceived stress and insomnia, thereby predicting affective symptoms (i.e., depression and anxiety). We further examined whether sex-is-power beliefs moderated these associations.
Methods: Participants completed validated measures of sex-is-power beliefs, sexual objectification, perceived stress, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. We conducted regression analyses, structural equation modeling, and bootstrapping analyses to test the associations between these psychological constructs.
Results: As predicted, the results showed that sexual objectification was positively associated with perceived stress, insomnia, and affective symptoms. Moreover, perceived stress and insomnia serially mediated the association between sexual objectification and affective symptoms. Furthermore, sex-is-power beliefs moderated the serial mediation effect, such that the effect was only observed among participants with weak sex-is-power beliefs.
Conclusions: These findings advanced current theories and knowledge of sexual objectification by demonstrating that sexual objectification is associated with perceived stress and insomnia, thereby predicting affective symptoms. The findings also highlighted the role of beliefs in weakening the negative consequences of sexual objectification. Copyright © 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-366
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume299
Early online date14 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Dec 2021

Citation

Jiang, Y., Wong, N. H.-L., Chan, Y. C., & Poon, K.-T. (2022). Lay awake with a racing mind: The associations between sexual objectification, insomnia, and affective symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 299, 359-366. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.12.031

Keywords

  • Sexual objectification
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Affective symptoms

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