Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Alexander T. Vazsonyi

Abstract

The current dissertation consists of three interrelated studies examining the relationship between sleep functioning and adolescent adjustment. Although links between sleep patterns and internalizing problems and externalizing or problem behaviors in children and adolescents have been established in literature, several gaps remain in this research. This dissertation addressed these by: (a) testing sleep problems, quantity, and chronotype in childhood as predictors of internalizing problems in adolescence (Study 1), (b) testing sleep problems, quantity, and chronotype in childhood as predictors of problem behaviors in adolescence (Study 2), and (c) testing sleep problems and quantity as mediators of the chronotype-adjustment link (Study 3). Latent Growth Modeling (LGM) and Half-longitudinal Path Analysis were used to carry out these studies using a large sample of children part of the European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ELSPAC).

Findings from Study 1 and 2 showed that greater sleep problems in early childhood and their slower decrease during childhood predicted higher levels of internalizing problems and problem behaviors in early adolescence. Furthermore, lower sleep quantity in early childhood predicted higher internalizing problems and problem behaviors in early adolescence and a greater increase in problem behaviors in adolescence. Lastly, greater eveningness in early childhood predicted greater increases in problem behaviors during adolescence. Results of Study 3 provided evidence that evening chronotype longitudinally predicted less favorable sleep patterns, including greater sleep problems and lower sleep quantity. However, only sleep problems significantly predicted measures of adjustment, particularly internalizing problems; no effects of sleep quantity on adjustment were found.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2018.247

Available for download on Tuesday, July 09, 2019

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