Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Michelle Lent, PhD

Second Advisor

Donald Masey, PsyD

Third Advisor

William Gardner, PhD


Poor sleep quality and elevated weight status are associated with poorer executive functioning (EF). The current study investigated the relationship between sleep quality, weight status, and EF in patients presenting for vocational rehabilitation evaluation, as well as whether EF is related to endorsing well-defined vocational interests. This retrospective study evaluated neuropsychological test data collected as part of standard clinical care from October 2018 to February 2021 from an urban outpatient training clinic. Patients seen for neuropsychological evaluation (N = 96) completed the Booklet Category Test, Trails A & B, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Behavior Rating Index of Executive Function (BRIEF), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – IV, and either the Career Occupational Preference System Interest Inventory or the Strong Interest Inventory. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using patients’ self-reported height and weight. Linear and logistic regression determined relationships between variables. A relationship was found between sleep disturbance and BMI (t = 2.50, p = 0.015) and sleep quality and set shifting (Trails B; t = 2.05, p = 0.046). There was also an association between self-report metacognition (BRIEF) and well-defined vocational interest (p = 0.011). The present study adds to the limited literature on EF, sleep quality, and BMI in the adult vocational rehabilitation population. The established association between sleep disturbance and BMI, sleep quality and cognitive set shifting, and metacognition and well-defined vocational interest shows the need for screening and subsequent treatment in individuals with disability who are seeking return to work.

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