All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sylvie Mrug

Advisory Committee Members

Kristin Avis

Susan Davies

Burel Goodin

David Schwebel

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2016

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The effects of sleep on behavioral and emotional functioning in a low income, urban sample of 84 African American adolescents was investigated over 3 years (mean ages: 13.36, 14.76, and 16.14 years) of parent and child interviews. Results suggest child-reported sleep duration decreased while all other sleep variables remained stable. Substance use increased over time. Physical aggression and conduct problems decreased; depression, emotional problems, and hyperactivity/inattention remained stable until late adolescence and then decreased. Lower duration of sleep and more sleep problems at age 13 predicted more conduct problems at age 15 which, in turn, predicted less sleep duration and more sleep problems at age 16. More weekend oversleep at age 13 predicted more depression at age 15 and more emotional problems at age 16. This implies that different aspects of sleep (e.g., duration vs. regularity) are associated with different types of psychosocial outcomes for adolescents. Developmental differences were investigated, but were found to be significant only in terms of sleep duration’s relationship to conduct problems. Specifically, shorter sleep duration was significantly related to increased conduct problems during early adolescence but not later adolescence. This suggests interventions targeting sleep behavior might be particularly developmentally relevant for younger adolescents. The study was limited by a small sample size and informant discrepancies but still provides valuable insight in a unique population.

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