Sleep disturbance and neuropsychological function in young children with ADHD.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25765292
Author: 
Mahone EM
Author List: 
Schneider HE
Lam JC
Mahone EM
Journal: 
Child Neuropsychol
PubMed ID: 
25765292
Pagination: 
493-506
Volume: 
22
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 
Sleep disturbance, common among children with ADHD, can contribute to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction. It is therefore challenging to determine whether neurobehavioral dysfunction should be attributed to ADHD symptoms, sleep disturbance, or both. The present study examined parent-reported sleep problems (Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire) and their relationship to neuropsychological function in 64 children, aged 4-7 years, with and without ADHD. Compared to typically developing controls, children with ADHD were reported by parents to have significantly greater sleep disturbance--including sleep onset delay, sleep anxiety, night awakenings, and daytime sleepiness--(all p ≤ .01), and significantly poorer performance on tasks of attention, executive control, processing speed, and working memory (all p < .01). Within the ADHD group, total parent-reported sleep disturbance was significantly associated with deficits in attention and executive control skills (all p ≤ .01); however, significant group differences (relative to controls) on these measures remained (p < .01) even after controlling for total sleep disturbance. While sleep problems are common among young children with ADHD, these findings suggest that inattention and executive dysfunction appear to be attributable to symptoms of ADHD rather than to sleep disturbance. The relationships among sleep, ADHD symptoms, and neurobehavioral function in older children may show different patterns as a function of the chronicity of disordered sleep.
Published Date: 
January, 2016

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