Sleep and risk-taking behavior in adolescents

Behav Sleep Med. 2005;3(3):113-33. doi: 10.1207/s15402010bsm0303_1.


The primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between adolescents' sleep-wake patterns and risk-taking behavior. A second goal was to replicate the results obtained by Wolfson and Carskadon (1998) regarding adolescents' sleep habits. Three hundred eighty-eight adolescents (217 males, 171 females) completed the Sleep Habits Survey and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The results indicated that adolescents who reported longer weekend delay and higher levels of sleep problems also reported significantly higher levels of risk-taking behaviors, and students' weekend delay was also related to their academic performance in this sample. As in the sample studied by Wolfson and Carskadon (1998), the adolescents in this study exhibited changes in both weekday and weekend sleep habits across grade/age. However in the present study, only school-night total sleep time and weekend delay were related to adolescents' daytime functioning, with no significant relationships being found between weekend oversleep and daytime functioning. This provides partial support for the findings of Wolfson and Carskadon (1998). Overall, sleep-wake patterns were found to relate to risk-taking behavior during adolescence in this study.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / epidemiology
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / psychology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pennsylvania
  • Periodicity
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wakefulness