Prospective Longitudinal Associations Between Persistent Sleep Problems in Childhood and Anxiety and Depression Disorders in Adulthood

University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States
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.

Download full-text


Available from: Alice M Gregory
  • Source
    • "The mean level of family conflict at 7–15 years of age also predicted insomnia at 18 years of age after controlling for sex, socioeconomic status, sleep problems at nine years, and self-reported health[31]. However, it should be noted that these studies2728293031did not provide a specific definition of " sleep problems " . Sleep problems were identified based on answers to general non-specific questions. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is a wealth of evidence that disrupted sleep and circadian rhythms, which are common in modern society even during the early stages of life, have unfavorable effects on brain function. Altered brain function can cause problem behaviors later in life, such as truancy from or dropping out of school, quitting employment, and committing suicide. In this review, we discuss findings from several large cohort studies together with recent results of a cohort study using the marshmallow test, which was first introduced in the 1960s. This test assessed the ability of four-year-olds to delay gratification and showed how this ability correlated with success later in life. The role of the serotonergic system in sleep and how this role changes with age are also discussed. The serotonergic system is involved in reward processing and interactions with the dorsal striatum, ventral striatum, and the prefrontal cortex are thought to comprise the neural basis for behavioral patterns that are affected by the quantity, quality, and timing of sleep early in life.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016
  • Source
    • "Family systems are dynamic, with reciprocal interactions that could have impact in child sleep, as well as child sleep problems can lead to family conflicts [13]. Not least important is the role of children's sleeping disorders in their mental health in adulthood [14]. The high prevalence of sleep problems, their negative implications for children and family and the success of educational interventions emphasize the need for early screening of Sleep Disorders [15]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Sleep Disorders (SlD) are frequently undervalued complaints in childhood. Several factors influence sleep, particularly socio-cultural environment and medical conditions such as breathing disorders. Poor sleep hygiene has physical, educational and social consequences. In Portugal, there are few published studies about children's sleep habits and rarely based on validated questionnaires. Aim: To study the prevalence of SlD and associated factors, in an outpatient pediatric population of a Primary Health Care Center (PHCC). Methods: Cross-sectional study of children admitted to a PHCC on a suburban area of Lisbon. Children Sleep Habits Questionnaire, validated for the Portuguese population (CSHQ-PT) for the screening of SlD (cut-off=44), was applied to parents, as well as a demographic inquiry. Body mass index z-score was evaluated. Children scoring 44 or above were sent to Pediatric Sleep Disorders consultation (PSDC). Parametric and non-parametric tests were used whenever appropriate. Results: From 128 children, 57.8% were male; the median age was 6.0 years (P25 = 5.0; P75 = 8.0). The median of cohabitants per family was 4.0 (P25 = 3.0; P75 = 5.0); 21.1% lived in a single-parent family. From CSHQ-PT, 59.4% (76) scored above the cut-off. Data showed that children from a single-parent family have more SlD (p=0.048), particularly parasomnia (p=0.019). Children with sleep disordered breathing (SDB) suffer more daytime sleepiness (p=0.034). From 63 children sent to PSDC, 33 attended. Regarding these children, a difference was found between BMI z-scores of those with and without SDB (p = 0.06).
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Sleep Science
    • "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; "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Show more