Article

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: 3.09). 05/2005; 33(2):157-63. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-005-1824-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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    • "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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    • "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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    • "However , few studies have examined the association between childhood sleep difficulties and depression in later adult life. The two cohorts which have examined this association have produced conflicting results, with one reporting that childhood sleep problems were associated with an increased risk for depression in adulthood (Gregory et al., 2008) and the other a null association (Gregory et al., 2005); however, neither accounted for the effect of maternal depression or sleep difficulties. This is important, as either could be considered a potential confounder, or mediating factor, in the association between childhood sleeping difficulties and the risk of depression in adulthood (O'Connor et al., 2007). "
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