Violence and Vigilance: The Acute Effects of Community Violent Crime on Sleep and Cortisol

Child Development, 2018 (with Jennifer Heissel, Patrick Sharkey, Kathryn Grant, and Emma Adam)

Abstract: The data combine objectively measured sleep and thrice‐daily salivary cortisol collected from a 4‐day diary study in a large Midwestern city with location data on all violent crimes recorded during the same time period for N = 82 children. The primary empirical strategy uses a within‐person design to measure the change in sleep and cortisol from the person’s typical pattern on the night/day immediately following a local violent crime. On the night following a violent crime, children have later bedtimes. Children also have disrupted cortisol patterns the following morning. Supplementary analyses using varying distances of the crime to the child’s home address confirm more proximate crimes correspond to later bedtimes.

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