Mediating Effect of Sleep Behaviors When Predicting Weight-Related Behaviors in Nursing Students

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Background and purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify whether or not sleep behaviors mediated bioecological predictors of weight-related behaviors among college students. Methods: This descriptive, quantitative, cross-sectional study, guided by Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model, examined bioecological characteristics and path analysis to assess model fit. Conclusions: The fit indices indicated excellent fit of the final model to the data (x2 (24) = 30.33, p =.17, root-mean-square error approximation = 0.04, comparative fit index = 0.96, standardized root-mean-square residual = 0.03). Sleep duration mediated significant bioecological predictors of weight-related behaviors, but sleep quality did not. Having children significantly predicted increased sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and decreased physical activity (PA) among college students. Conversely, eating the majority of meals at home significantly predicted decreased consumption of SSBs and increased PA. Implications for practice: Findings support inclusion of sleep duration and use of the bioecological model, when providing patient-centered healthcare focused on weight-related behaviors and weight management in college students.