Resiliency as a mediator of the impact of sleep on child and adolescent behavior
Alex Chatburn,1,2 Scott Coussens,1,2 Mark J Kohler1,3
1School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 2Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Women’s and Children’s Health Network, North Adelaide, SA, Australia; 3Children’s Research Centre, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Background: Disturbed sleep is detrimental to child behavior; however, the precise means by which this association occurs is unclear. Sleep and resilience can theoretically share an underlying neural mechanism and therefore influence one another. However, the role of resilience in the association between sleep and behavior is not known. The associations between sleep, resilience, and problematic behavior in children and adolescents aged 7–18 years were investigated in this study.
Methods: A correlational design was used to determine the relationships between total sleep problems, indices of resilience, and internalizing and externalizing behaviors.
Results: Sleep problems and resiliency variables were strongly correlated, and further, sleep problems were found to be predictive of resiliency scores. Resiliency significantly mediated the relationship between increased sleep problems and both overall internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, and specifically, measures of depression and anxiety.
Conclusion: Sleep impacted levels of resilience such that greater sleep disturbance reduced resilience and consequently increased problematic behavior, potentially predisposing individuals to psychopathology.
Keywords: resilience, behavior, internalizing, externalizing, anxiety, depression, sleep
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