Assessment of chronotype in four- to eleven-year-old children: reliability and validity of the Children's Chronotype Questionnaire (CCTQ)

Chronobiol Int. 2009 Jul;26(5):992-1014. doi: 10.1080/07420520903044505.


Individual differences in circadian phase preference ("chronotype") are linked to sleep schedule variability, psychosocial functioning, and specific properties of the circadian clock. While much is known about the development, distribution, and variability of chronotype in adolescents and adults, assessment in prepubertal children has been hindered by a lack of appropriate, reliable, and valid measures. This study presents a detailed description of the assessment of children's chronotype by the Children's ChronoType Questionnaire (CCTQ). The CCTQ is a parent-report, 27-item mixed-format questionnaire resulting in multiple measures of chronotype in 4- to 11-yr-old children: the midsleep point on free days (MSF), a morningness/eveningness scale (M/E) score, and a five-point chronotype (CT) score. The study provides validity data using actigraphy as well as test-retest reliability data for all three chronotype measures and sleep/wake parameters. Overall, the findings indicate moderate to strong agreement between the three measures, adequate associations between chronotype measures and sleep/wake parameters assessed by actigraphy, and excellent temporal stability (reliability).

MeSH terms

  • Biological Clocks*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photoperiod
  • Psychometrics
  • Puberty
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sleep
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Wakefulness