This may lead to later adolescent behavioral problems
Kids with more sleep problems were more prone to certain behavioral problems as they got older, according to Australian researchers. There was an association between sleep problems and externalizing behaviors. This was in both directions — each one caused the other. These included ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder in kids. This was reported by Jon L. Quach, PhD, of the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. And sleep problems in kids contributed to later behaviors, such as fear and anxiety.
The research group found that the direction of the links between problems with sleep and subsequent behavior problems is not very well understood but felt that more research could help to improve kid’s sleep and behavior during the primary school years. Addressing these sleep problems could help reduce mental health problems in the kids. This is important since 50 percent of mental health problems can be present before adolescence.
The group looked at data on 4,983 children aged 4-5, 51 percent of which were boys. Problems with sleep came by report of parents as did the behavioral problems. They found a bi-directional relationship between externalizing difficulties and sleep disturbances while in the primary school transition period.
The conclusion was that the study’s evidence suggested a path in which behavioral difficulties come from sleep problems and there is a very complex association between sleep and mental health. Therefore, it is vital to both that they are regularly assessed and managed
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