Parental report of sleep problems in children with attentional and learning disorders

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1998 Jun;19(3):178-86. doi: 10.1097/00004703-199806000-00005.


This study examined whether parents of children diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders (n = 79) report greater sleep-related problems in their offspring than do parents of normal community-based children (n = 86) on a research questionnaire developed to assess sleep and breathing problems, sleepiness, and behavioral problems. Clinical subgroups included: attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (n = 43), learning disabilities (LD) (n = 11), and combined ADHD/LD (n = 25). Analyses revealed that parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders report greater problems along all three dimensions than parents of normal control children. Sleep-related difficulties were reported at the same frequency across all three clinical subgroups. No significant difference between clinical and control groups was noted, however, in the reported length of sleep on weeknights. These preliminary findings suggest that sleep-related problems need to be routinely reviewed as part of the clinical evaluation of neurodevelopmental problems, because they may contribute to and/or exacerbate the behavioral manifestation of these disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / complications*
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Learning Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / classification
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires