Study objectives: To present psychometric data on a comprehensive, parent-report sleep screening instrument designed for school-aged children, the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ). The CSHQ yields both a total score and eight subscale scores, reflecting key sleep domains that encompass the major medical and behavioral sleep disorders in this age group.
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Three elementary schools in New England, a pediatric sleep disorders clinic in a children's teaching hospital.
Participants: Parents of 469 school-aged children, aged 4 through 10 years (community sample), and parents of 154 patients diagnosed with sleep disorders in a pediatric sleep clinic completed the CSHQ.
Measurements and results: The CSHQ showed adequate internal consistency for both the community sample (p=0.68) and the clinical sample (p=0.78); alpha coefficients for the various subscales of the CSHQ ranged from 0.36 (Parasomnias) to 0.70 (Bedtime Resistance) for the community sample, and from 0.56 (Parasomnias) to 0.93 (Sleep-Disordered Breathing) for the sleep clinic group. Test-retest reliability was acceptable (range 0.62 to 0.79). CSHQ individual items, as well as the subscale and total scores were able to consistently differentiate the community group from the sleep-disordered group, demonstrating validity. A cut-off total CSHQ score of 41 generated by analysis of the Receiver Operator Characteristic Curve (ROC) correctly yielded a sensitivity of 0.80 and specificity of 0.72.
Conclusions: The CSHQ appears to be a useful sleep screening instrument to identify both behaviorally based and medically-based sleep problems in school-aged children.