Prospective longitudinal associations between persistent sleep problems in childhood and anxiety and depression disorders in adulthood

Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.48). 05/2005; 33(2):157-63. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-005-1824-0
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to examine the associations between persistent childhood sleep problems and adulthood anxiety and depression. Parents of 943 children (52% male) participating in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study provided information on their children's sleep and internalizing problems at ages 5, 7, and 9 years. When the participants were 21 and 26 years, adult anxiety and depression were diagnosed using a standardized diagnostic interview. After controlling for childhood internalizing problems, sex, and socioeconomic status, persistent sleep problems in childhood predicted adulthood anxiety disorders (OR (95% CI) = 1.60 (1.05-2.45), p = .030) but not depressive disorders (OR (95% CI) = .99 (.63-1.56), p = .959). Persistent sleep problems in childhood may be an early risk indicator of anxiety in adulthood.

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    • "Of note, patterns vary between samples investigated (Alfano et al., 2009; Gregory & Eley, 2005) – and further research is necessary before conclusions about specificity can be drawn. Longitudinal studies between sleep disturbances and anxiety have reported that certain early sleep problems (conceptualised in different studies in different ways) can forecast anxiety symptoms or disorders in later childhood (Jansen et al., 2011; Shanahan, Copeland, Angold, Bondy, & Costello, 2014) and even adulthood (Gregory et al., 2005). As with the depression literature, bidirectional associations have been reported (Kelly & El-Sheikh, 2014; Shanahan et al., 2014), although there is also some evidence that sleep disturbances are more predictive of later anxiety than vice versa (Jansen et al., 2011; "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Hippocrates flagged the value of sleep for good health. Nonetheless, historically, researchers with an interest in developmental psychopathology have largely ignored a possible role for atypical sleep. Recently, however, there has been a surge of interest in this area, perhaps reflecting increased evidence that disturbed or insufficient sleep can result in poor functioning in numerous domains. Aims and scope: This review outlines what is known about sleep in the psychiatric diagnoses most relevant to children and for which associations with sleep are beginning to be understood. While based on a comprehensive survey of the literature, the focus of the current review is on the latest science (largely from 2010). There is a description of both concurrent and longitudinal links as well as possible mechanisms underlying associations. Preliminary treatment research is also considered which suggests that treating sleep difficulties may result in improvements in behavioural areas beyond sleep quality. Findings and conclusion: To maximise progress in this field, there now needs to be: (a) greater attention to the assessment of sleep in children; (b) sleep research on a wider range of psychiatric disorders; (c) a greater focus on and examination of mechanisms underlying associations; (d) a clearer consideration of developmental questions and (e) large-scale well-designed treatment studies. While sleep problems may sometimes be missed by parents and healthcare providers; hence constituting a hidden risk for other psychopathologies - knowing about these difficulties creates unique opportunities. The current excitement in this field from experts in diverse areas including developmental psychology, clinical psychology, genetics and neuropsychology should make these opportunities a reality.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12469 · 6.46 Impact Factor
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    • "Although recent longitudinal studies report that adolescents sleep longer on average as they transition to adulthood (Maslowsky and Ozer 2014), and specifically as they transition to college (Doane et al. 2014), average sleep duration estimates are still below recommendations for this age group. Sleep problems in adolescence and young adulthood precede a variety of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, and completed suicide (Breslau et al. 1996; Goldstein et al. 2008; Gregory et al. 2005). Psychosocial factors can also influence the development of sleep problems during adolescence (Dahl and Lewin 2002; Doane et al. 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Poor sleep and alterations in the stress-sensitive hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis may be mechanisms through which loneliness impacts adolescents’ well-being. Few researchers have explored whether daily variation in experiences of social connection predict day-to-day variation in sleep and HPA axis activity among adolescents navigating the college context. Using daily diary reports of social connection, objective measures of sleep (actigraphy), and naturalistic salivary assessment, the present study examined within-person associations between first-year college students’ social connection during the day and sleep that night, as well as diurnal cortisol activity the following day. The present study also explored trait-level loneliness as a moderator of these associations after adjusting for baseline loneliness assessed in high school. Seventy-one first-year college students (23 % male; M age = 18.85; 52 % non-Hispanic White) completed daily diary reports, wore a wrist-based accelerometer (actigraph watch), and provided saliva samples five times daily across three consecutive weekdays. The results from hierarchical linear models indicated that within-person increases in daily social connection were significantly associated with longer time spent in bed and more actual time asleep that night only for adolescents high on loneliness. Within-person increases in daily social connection were associated with a greater cortisol awakening response (CAR) the next day, regardless of trait loneliness. These findings illustrate that more daily social connection with others than usual may predict improved sleep quantity for lonely adolescents and a physiological index of anticipating upcoming daily demands (CAR) in general. Future intervention programs might consider including strategies focused on enhancing daily social interactions among adolescents starting college, particularly for lonely adolescents.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 12/2014; 44(2). DOI:10.1007/s10964-014-0244-2 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    • "Moreover, the association between sleep problems and depression/anxiety increased with age. Gregory et al. (2005) further showed that sleep problems in childhood predicted anxiety disorders, but not depressive disorders, in adulthood. In addition, it was shown by Gregory et al. (2009) that sleep problems at age 8 predicted depression at age 10. "
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    ABSTRACT: While research has shown that sleep problems and substance use are reciprocally associated in adults, much less is known about this association in early adolescence. The main aim of the current longitudinal study was to explore bidirectional relationships between sleep problems, substance use, internalizing and externalizing problems in young adolescents. A prospective design was used incorporating two waves (approximately 1 year interval). A total of 555 young adolescents (290 females, M age = 13.96) participated in this study. All participants completed self-report measures in classrooms during regular school hours (questionnaires about sleep quality and sleep hygiene were used to measure sleep problems). The results indicated that sleep problems predicted changes in substance use, internalizing and externalizing problems over time, but problem behaviours did not predict changes in sleep problems, adjusted for gender, age and puberty. One exception was that alcohol use negatively predicted changes in sleep problems. This study suggests that sleep problems are important precursors of substance use, internalizing and externalizing problems in adolescence.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 11/2014; 44(2). DOI:10.1007/s10964-014-0213-9 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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