Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Urban minority youth, particularly females, are at high risk for increased weight gain during the summertime months, and may also experience insufficient sleep at this time. Few studies have objectively measured summertime sleep in this population or related sleep to weight gain during this season. The current study draws on a sample of 66 urban minority girls aged 10-to-14 who participated in a community-based summer day camp program promoting physical activity (PA). The study objectively characterizes sleep in this sample, both in unstructured and structured contexts. Additionally, the study examines potential pathways underlying summertime relations between sleep and weight, including PA and executive functions (EFs). Data were collected at a community-based summer day camp program at two time points: prior to beginning programming (T1; unstructured context) and during the final week of programming (T2; structured context). At both time points, participants experienced shorter nighttime sleep than is recommended for their age, and African American girls recorded significantly less sleep than Latina girls only when not engaged in programming. Furthermore, findings suggest that wake times may play a particularly influential role in youths’ abilities to obtain adequate sleep. Mediation models were not significant, however, research with a larger sample is needed to adequately address mechanisms underlying relations between sleep and BMI. Overall, summertime sleep is an understudied health behavior that may be important to consider among minority youth.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.