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Associations Between ADHD, Sleep Problems, and Mental Health Symptoms in Adolescents

Authors
  • Loram, George1
  • Ling, Mathew1, 2
  • Silk, Tim1, 3, 4
  • Sciberras, Emma1, 3, 4
  • 1 Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia
  • 2 NEAMI National, Preston, VIC, Australia
  • 3 Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Parkville, VIC, Australia
  • 4 University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Attention Disorders
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Feb 17, 2023
Volume
27
Issue
6
Pages
635–642
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/10870547231155871
PMID: 36799467
PMCID: PMC10068403
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Articles
License
Unknown

Abstract

Objective: This study examined associations between objective and subjective sleep parameters, and mental health symptoms (internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, and irritability) and whether these relationships differed for adolescents with and without ADHD. Method: Participants were 373 adolescents aged 10 to 19 years ( M = 13.21, SD = 2.37). Sleep was measured both via actigraphy and self- and parent-report scales. Mental health symptoms were measured via a range of validated measures. Results: Few relationships were detected when examining actigraphy variables. Subjective sleep parameters were associated with almost all mental health variables. Some relationships were moderated by ADHD status, generally consistent with stronger relationships between subjective sleep quality and mental health in the non-ADHD group. Conclusion: Sleep problems, particularly subjective difficulties, are associated with a range of mental health outcomes, regardless of the presence of ADHD. Sleep problems may be a beneficial intervention target for adolescents experiencing mental health issues.

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