Emma Maun

Thesis title:

Longitudinal associations between caregiving, sleep disturbance and health outcomes, among people aged fifty years and older


Unpaid caregiving by family and friends is crucial for many people needing care and support, in the context of increasing demand, but limited availability, of formal social care services (Brimblecombe et al., 2018). The Care Act 2014 places importance on maintaining caregiver health and well-being, however, little formal support for caregivers is available (Pickard, King & Knapp, 2015); and there is mixed evidence on the most important factors associated with caregiver health (Capistrant, 2016). One factor that may partially explain caregiver health, is sleep disturbance. Disturbed sleep has been linked to negative health outcomes such as obesity and cardiovascular disease (Ferrie et al., 2011); and separately, studies have indicated certain groups of caregivers are more likely to report poor sleep, particularly co-residential caregivers, working caregivers, and carers providing over 20 hours of care per week (for instance, Sacco, Leineweber & Platts, 2018). Yet, longitudinal caregiver health studies have yet to include sleep disturbance as a covariate.Emma’s study aims to investigate the longitudinal relationships between characteristics of caregiving, sleep disturbance and health outcomes; assessing whether sleep disturbance may be a partial mediator of the relationship between caregiving and three markers of health: self-rated health, depressive symptoms and quality of life. The research focuses on caregiving among individuals aged 50 years and over, using three waves of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, ELSA.A recent publication can be found on Emma’s research profile- https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/emma-maun(ddf42e66-0162-4428-a489-194eb9443682).html

First supervisor:

Laurie Corna


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health