Characteristics of Sleep in a Pediatric Population Seeking Mental Health Services Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Hunter, Kimberly E.; Knox, Michele


  • This study explored characteristics of sleep and other presenting problems in children and adolescents seeking mental health services within an outpatient clinic. Primary caregivers seeking outpatient mental health services for their children between the ages of 2 - 18 completed a measure assessing various aspects of their children’s sleep, emotional and behavioral problems, and use of electronics at bedtime. Results showed reduced sleep durations compared to recommended guidelines. Results also indicated that sleep duration was negatively associated with the total number of problems listed for both the youngest and school aged groups. Children and adolescents with worries and fears, irritability, and mood swings had significantly less sleep, and participants with sadness had longer sleep latencies. Regarding use of electronics, participants with televisions in the bedroom reported significantly less hours of sleep than those without. The average number of hours of television watched per week was positively correlated with the number of minutes of sleep latency, while videogame usage was negatively correlated with sleep duration. The study results indicated that sleep disturbances are significant issues impacting youth who are experiencing mental health issues. These results also emphasize the importance of a thorough sleep assessment for children who present for mental health services.


publication date

  • 2017

published in

start page

  • 2534

end page

  • 2546


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