Concurrent and Longitudinal Predictors and Stability of Parent-Reported Sleep Problems in a Population-Based Sample at Mean Ages 8 and 15

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Stability and predictors of parent-reported sleep problems in a population-based sample were investigated in 259 children whose parents completed the Pediatric Behavior Scale at mean ages 8 and 15. Reduced sleep (e.g., sleeps less than normal), fragmented sleep (e.g., wakes during the night), and excessive sleep were predicted from Pediatric Behavior Scale inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, autism, cognitive disengagement syndrome, oppositional defiant disorder/ODD, conduct problems, depression, anxiety, and somatic complaints scores; polysomnography (overnight sleep lab) data; and demographics. The prevalence of reduced, fragmented, and excessive sleep in childhood was 10%, 14%, and 14%, respectively. Adolescent prevalence rates were 3%, 3%, and 15%. Persistence rates were low (16%, 14%, and 31%), and few children had these sleep problems at both time points (2%, 2%, and 4%). In contrast, studies using parent-reported insomnia symptoms in childhood and self-report in adolescence showed an increase in insomnia and higher persistence over time. In our study, reduced and fragmented sleep in childhood predicted adolescent reduced and fragmented sleep, respectively, whereas excessive sleep in childhood did not predict adolescent excessive sleep. Childhood predictors of adolescent sleep problems were few and explained little of the variance. ODD and inattention were correlates of reduced and fragmented sleep in childhood, and hyperactivity and somatic complaints were correlates in adolescence. Polysomnography and demographics were unrelated to parent-reported sleep problems. Results support complementing parent-report with self-report in adolescence and treating reduced and fragmented sleep, ADHD, and ODD in childhood to possibly alleviate current sleep problems and reduce their likelihood in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

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