Study objectives: To develop a measure of daytime sleepiness suitable for middle-school children and examine the relationship between daytime sleepiness and school-related outcomes.
Design: Self-report questionnaire.
Participants: Four hundred fifty, 11- to 15-year-old students, from grades 6, 7, and 8 of a public middle school in Dayton, Ohio.
Measurements and results: A pediatric daytime sleepiness questionnaire was developed using factor analysis of questions regarding sleep-related behaviors. Results of the sleepiness questionnaire were then compared across other variables, including daily sleep patterns, school achievement, mood, and extracurricular activities.
Results: Factor analysis on the 13 questions related to daytime sleepiness yielded 1 primary factor ("pediatric daytime sleepiness"; 32% of variance). Only items with factor loadings above .4 were included in the final sleepiness scale. Internal consistency (Chronbach's alpha) for the final 8-item scale was .80. Separate one-way analyses of variance and trend analyses were performed comparing pediatric daytime sleepiness scores at the 5 different levels of total sleep time and academic achievement. Participants who reported low school achievement, high rates of absenteeism, low school enjoyment, low total sleep time, and frequent illness reported significantly higher levels of daytime sleepiness compared to children with better school-related outcomes.
Conclusions: The self-report scale developed in the present work is suitable for middle-school-age children and may be useful in future research given its ease of administration and robust psychometric properties. Daytime sleepiness is related to reduced educational achievement and other negative school-related outcomes.