Self-report and caregiver-report of sleep and psychopathology in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: A pilot study

Dev Neurorehabil. 2015;18(4):272-9. doi: 10.3109/17518423.2013.829534. Epub 2013 Oct 2.


Objective: To examine relationships between psychological and sleep problems in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) and typically developing (TD) children using self-report and caregiver-report.

Method: Seventeen HFASD (M = 10.03 years, SD = 1.33) and 15 TD (M = 9.99 years, SD = 1.22) children and their caregivers responded about the child's sleep, anxiety, depression and ADHD.

Results: Children with HFASD had poorer sleep than TD children by self-report and caregiver-report; caregiver-reported psychopathology, and self-reported anxiety were also higher for HFASD children. Poor sleep was related to anxiety in both groups, particularly Somatic-panic for HFASD children. Caregiver-child agreement for sleep and anxiety was fair for HFASD children but slight for TD children.

Conclusions: Patterns of sleep-psychopathology associations differed for HFASD and TD children and hyperarousal seemed important for poor sleep in HFASD but not TD children. Results suggested that children with HFASD were able to report on their difficulties.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; caregiver-report; child; psychopathology; self-report; sleep.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / complications
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self Report
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology*
  • Sleep*