PhD Proposal by Emily Hokett

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Name: Emily Hokett

Dissertation Proposal Meeting

Date: Thursday, November 12th, 2020

Time: 5:00 PM

Location: https://bluejeans.com/971398234 (Meeting ID: 971 398 234)


Advisor: Audrey Duarte, PhD (Georgia Tech)


Dissertation Committee Members:

Vonetta Dotson, PhD (Georgia State Univerisity)

Alyssa Gamaldo, PhD (The Pennsylvania State University)

Paul Verhaeghen, PhD (Georgia Tech)

Mark Wheeler, PhD (Georgia Tech)


Title: A Large Online Study Examining Individual Differences in Sleep Quality and Episodic Memory Performance Across the Adult Lifespan: Interactions Between Psychosocial and Sociodemographic Factors



The relationship between sleep quality and episodic memory performance, or memory for the details of past events, has been established in young and older adults. A recent meta-analysis demonstrates that the sleep-memory association for young and older adults is statistically equivalent across episodic memory tasks (Hokett, Arunmozhi, Campbell, Verhaeghen, & Duarte, under review). Although the sleep-memory relationship is similar across age groups, older adults tend to experience reduced sleep quantity and poorer sleep quality than young adults (for reviews: Li, Vitiello, & Gooneratne, 2018; Ohayon, Carskadon, Guilleminault, & Vitiello, 2004). Similarly, both young and older racial/ethnic minorities experience poorer sleep quality as compared to non-Hispanic whites (for a review, Johnson, Jackson, Williams, & Alcántara, 2019). Epidemiology studies suggest that racial/ethnic discrepancies in sleep quality may be primarily explained by race-related stress, even after controlling for measures of socioeconomic status and general stress (Hicken, Lee, Ailshire, Burgard, & Williams, 2013; Slopen & Williams, 2014). However, not all racial/ethnic minorities sleep poorly nor do all older adults (Hokett & Duarte, 2019; Ohayon et al., 2004). There may be certain lifestyle factors that protect against these age and racial/ethnic group sleep disparities. However, it is currently unknown which protective factors contribute to individual differences in sleep quality in these groups. For example, does maintaining better sleep habits (e.g., using the bed only for sleep) or engaging in high physical activity protect against age and race-related discrepancies in sleep quality, and do these discrepancies in sleep quality contribute to poor memory performance? Moreover, differences in mood, financial strain, and general health may also contribute to age and racial/ethnic disparities in sleep quality, and these factors may modulate sleep-memory associations. The proposed project will recruit a 500-participant lifespan sample to address the aforementioned questions and further explore the nature of race-related stress on sleep disparities in racial/ethnic minorities.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Tatianna Richardson
  • Created:11/06/2020
  • Modified By:Tatianna Richardson
  • Modified:11/06/2020