Date of Award

Fall 12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. John Harsh

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Christopher Barry

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Tammy Barry

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Dr. Sara Jordan

Committee Member 4 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 5

Dr. D. Joe Olmi

Committee Member 5 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 6

Dr. Monique LeBourgeois

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to examine racial differences in the sleep distribution of 4- to 5-year-old children, to assess the relationship between napping and psychosocial functioning, and to determine if there are racial differences in the relationship between napping and psychosocial functioning. The sleep behavior of 67 children (52.2% non-Hispanic White; 55.2% male) 4 to 5 years old from a community sample was assessed through caregiver-report and actigraphy. Psychosocial functioning was examined through caregiver-report and laboratory tasks designed to assess aspects of behavioral and emotional functioning. Results indicate that, compared to White children, Black children nap significantly more on weekdays, had significantly shorter nocturnal sleep durations on weekdays and weekends, and obtained significantly less sleep across the week. Caregivers of non-napping children reported significantly more symptoms of hyperactivity, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, in the laboratory, non-napping children exhibited significantly less sadness than napping children on a distressful task. There were no significant interactions between race and napping on any measures of psychosocial functioning.

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