A twin-study of sleep difficulties in school-aged children

Child Dev. Nov-Dec 2006;77(6):1668-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00966.x.


This study examines frequency, overlap, and genetic and environmental influences on sleep difficulties, which are understudied in school-aged children. The Sleep Self Report and the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire were completed by 300 twin pairs (aged 8 years) and their parents. Child report suggested more frequent sleep problems than parent report (e.g., regular sleep onset delay was reported by 45% of children and 17% of parents). Associations between most of the sleep difficulties were small but significant (e.g., r(s)=.16 for parent report of bedtime resistance and sleep onset delay). Twin correlations based on parent reports suggest greater genetic influence (M=50%) than those based on child self-report (M=18%). Possible rater effects should be considered when evaluating children's sleep problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Twins*