Sleep, emotional and behavioral difficulties in children and adolescents.

Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.
Sleep Medicine Reviews (Impact Factor: 9.14). 06/2011; 16(2):129-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.smrv.2011.03.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Links between sleep and psychopathology are complex and likely bidirectional. Sleep problems and alteration of normal sleep patterns have been identified in major forms of child psychopathology including anxiety, depression and attention disorders as well as symptoms of difficulties in the full range. This review summarizes some key findings with regard to the links between sleep and associated difficulties in childhood and adolescence. It then proposes a selection of possible mechanisms underlying some of these associations. Suggestions for future research include the need to 1) use multi-methods to assess sleep; 2) measure sleep in large-scale studies; 3) conduct controlled experiments to further establish the effects of sleep variations on emotional and behavioral difficulties; 4) take an interdisciplinary approach to further understand the links between sleep and associated difficulties.

Download full-text


Available from: Alice M Gregory, Mar 19, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives. We tested the hypothesis that sleep training would improve emotional, social and behavioural functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared to children with ADHD without such intervention and to healthy controls. Methods. Forty children with ADHD were randomly assigned to intervention and control conditions. Parents of 20 children with ADHD were instructed and thoroughly supervised in improving their children's sleep schedules and sleep behaviour. Parents of the other 20 children with ADHD and parents of 20 healthy children received general information about sleep hygiene. At baseline and 12 weeks later, parents and children completed questionnaires related to children's sleep and psychological functioning. Results. Relative to the control groups, children in the intervention group improved sleep quantitatively and qualitatively (F values < 3.33, P values < 0.05). The intervention group children reported improvements in mood, emotions, and relationships (F values < 2.99, P values < 0.05). Parents reported that their children improved in physical and psychological wellbeing, mood, emotions, relationships, and social acceptance (F values < 3.02, P values < 0.05). Conclusions. Training and monitoring parents of children with ADHD in regulating and supervising children's sleep schedules leads to positive changes in the emotions, behaviour and social lives of these children.
    The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 12/2014; 15(8). DOI:10.3109/15622975.2014.922698 · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insufficient sleep is a risk factor for depression, suicidality, and substance use, yet little is known about gender, ethnic, and community-level differences in sleep and its associated outcomes, especially during adolescence. Further, much of the prior work has compared groups of teens getting plenty as opposed to insufficient amounts of sleep rather than examine sleep hours continuously. The present study examined adolescent weekday self-reported sleep duration and its links with hopelessness, suicidality, and substance use in a suburban community with very early high school start times. We utilized a large (N = 27,939, 51.2 % female) and ethnically diverse sample of adolescents from the 2009 Fairfax County (Virginia) Youth Survey, an anonymous, self-report, population-level survey administered to all 8th, 10th and 12th grade students in public schools in the county. High-school students reported an average 6.5 h of sleep per school night, with 20 % obtaining ≤5 h, and only 3 % reporting the recommended 9 h/night. Females and minority youth obtained even less sleep on average, and the reduction in sleep in the transition from middle school to high school was more pronounced for females and for Asian students. Hierarchical, multivariate, logistic regression analyses, controlling for background variables, indicated that just 1 h less of weekday sleep was associated with significantly greater odds of feeling hopeless, seriously considering suicide, suicide attempts, and substance use. Relationships between sleep duration and suicidality were stronger for male teens, and sleep duration was more associated with hopelessness for white students compared to most ethnic minority groups. Implications for intervention at multiple levels are discussed.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 09/2014; 44(2). DOI:10.1007/s10964-014-0170-3 · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Psychosocial stress has been linked with an unhealthy lifestyle but the relation's direction remains unclear. Does stress induce sleeping problems, comfort food consumption, and lower physical activity, or do these unhealthy lifestyle factors enhance stress? This study examined the bidirectional stress-lifestyle relation in children. Method: The relation between stress and lifestyle was examined over 2 years in 312 Belgian children 5-12 years old as part of the Children's Body Composition and Stress study. Stress-related aspects were measured by questionnaires concerning negative events, negative emotions, and behavioral problems. The following lifestyle factors were assessed: physical activity (by accelerometers), sleep duration, food consumption (sweet food, fatty food, snacks, fruits and vegetables), and eating behavior (emotional, external, restrained). Bidirectional relations were examined with cross-lagged analyses. Results: Certain stress aspects increased physical activity, sweet food consumption, emotional eating, restrained eating, and external eating (βs = .140-.319). All relations were moderated by sex and age: Dietary effects were mainly in the oldest children and girls; stress increased physical activity in the youngest, whereas it tended to decrease physical activity in the oldest. One reversed direction effect was found: Maladaptive eating behaviors increased anxiety feelings. Conclusions: Relations were mainly unidirectional: Stress influenced children's lifestyle. Stress stimulated eating in the absence of hunger, which could facilitate overweight. Consequently, families should realize that stress may influence children's diet, and problem-solving coping skills should be acquired. In contrast to recent findings, stress might also stimulate physical activity in the youngest as positive stress coping style. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Health Psychology 08/2014; 34(1). DOI:10.1037/hea0000108 · 3.95 Impact Factor