Estimating adolescent sleep patterns: Parent reports versus adolescent self-report surveys, sleep diaries, and actigraphy

School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Nature and Science of Sleep 02/2013; 5:23-6. DOI: 10.2147/NSS.S38369
Source: PubMed


In research and clinical contexts, parent reports are often used to gain information about the sleep patterns of their adolescents; however, the degree of concordance between parent reports and adolescent-derived measures is unclear. The present study compares parent estimates of adolescent sleep patterns with adolescent self-reports from surveys and sleep diaries, together with actigraphy.
A total of 308 adolescents (59% male) aged 13-17 years completed a school sleep habits survey during class time at school, followed by a 7-day sleep diary and wrist actigraphy. Parents completed the Sleep, Medical, Education and Family History Survey.
Parents reported an idealized version of their adolescent's sleep, estimating significantly earlier bedtimes on both school nights and weekends, significantly later wake times on weekends, and significantly more sleep than either the adolescent self-reported survey, sleep diary, or actigraphic estimates.
Parent reports indicate that the adolescent averages a near-optimal amount of sleep on school nights and a more than optimal amount of sleep on weekends. However, adolescent-derived averages indicate patterns of greater sleep restriction. These results illustrate the importance of using adolescent-derived estimates of sleep patterns in this age group and the importance of sleep education for both adolescents and their parents.

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Available from: Michael Gradisar, Sep 30, 2015
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    • "Although previous research points toward higher endorsement of sleep problems by parents relative to their anxious children, some methodological differences are noteworthy. In the current study we attempted to ensure that both parent and child reports of sleep problems tapped the same behavioral domains, using the same rating format, and number of items whereas prior studies have tended to rely on non-parallel measures of sleep problems (Chase and Pincus 2011; Short et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: We compared subjective and objective sleep patterns and problems, and examined cross-method correspondence across parent reports, child reports, and actigraphy-derived sleep variables in clinically-anxious children and healthy controls. In a multi-site, cross-sectional study, 75 pre-adolescent children (6 to 11 years; M=8.7 years; SD=1.4; 39/52% female) were examined including 39 with a diagnosis of primary generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and 36 controls recruited from university-based clinics in Houston, TX and Washington, DC. Structured interviews, validated sleep questionnaires, and 1-week of actigraphy data were utilized. Despite subjective reports of significantly greater sleep problems among anxious children, actigraphy data revealed no significant differences between the groups. All parents estimated earlier bedtimes and greater total sleep duration relative to actigraphy, and all children endorsed more sleep problems than parents. With few exceptions, subjective reports exhibited low and non-significant correspondence with actigraphy-based sleep patterns and problems. Our findings suggest that high rates of sleep complaints found among children with GAD (and their parents) are not corroborated by objective sleep abnormalities, with the exception of marginally prolonged sleep onset latency compared to controls. Objective-subjective sleep discrepancies were observed in both groups but more apparent overall in the GAD group. Frequent complaints of sleep problems and daytime tiredness among anxious youth might more accurately reflect difficulties prior to the actual sleep period, cognitive-affective biases associated with sleep, and/or an increased sleep need. Findings highlight the importance of considering sleep from multiple perspectives.
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Children's sleep duration is decreasing in the last decade. Despite of the well known negative consequences, there are no data on children's sleep duration in Hungary and Romania. Aim: The aim of the authors was to assess sleep duration of school-age children in Hungary and Romania. Method: A self-edited questionnaire was used for the study. 2446 children were enrolled. All elementary and secondary schools in a Hungarian city, and one elementary and secondary school in a Romanian city took part in the study. Results: Mean sleep duration was 8.3±1.2 hours on weekdays. There was a significant difference between the two countries (Hungary vs. Romania, 8.5±1.2 hours vs. 7.8±0.9 hours, p = 0.001). Age correlated with sleep duration on weekdays (r= -0.605, p = 0.001), but not during weekend. Conclusions: this is the first study on children's sleep duration in Hungary and Romania. The difference between countries may be due to the difference in mean age or cultural and/or geographical differences. Orv. Hetil., 2013, 154, 1592-1596.
    Orvosi Hetilap 10/2013; 154(40):1592-1596. DOI:10.1556/OH.2013.29713
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