Unfair police treatment and sleep problems among a national sample of adults

Alexander Testa, Dylan B. Jackson, Daniel Semenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The current study examines the associations between unfair police treatment and sleep quantity and quality among a nationally representative sample of adults from Wave V (years 2016–2018) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 12,057). Furthermore, considering the documented negative associations between unjust police treatment and both physical and psychological wellbeing, we investigate whether this relationship is attenuated by aspects of general health and depressive symptoms. Findings demonstrate that personal experience with unfair police treatment corresponds to worse sleep among adults, including sleeping fewer hours (especially 6 or fewer hours) and reporting more frequent trouble sleeping. This association was found to partially operate through depressive symptoms and general health. These findings suggest that strategies are needed among public health practitioners and law enforcement to mitigate the adverse health impacts of unfair police treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13353
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • criminal justice
  • health
  • police
  • sleep
  • unfair police treatment


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