Sleep and school problems among children and adolescents in state custody

Richard A. Epstein, William V. Bobo, Michael J. Cull, Deborah Gatlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Population-level research into the association between sleep problems and school problems among high-risk youth is limited. This study uses cross-sectional administrative and standardized assessment information for youth entering Tennessee state custody in fiscal year 2009 (n = 4280) to examine whether sleep problems are independently associated with school problems. Sleep problems were identified in 9.8% of the sample. There was no association between sleep and school problems for youth adjudicated delinquent. Among youth adjudicated dependent-neglect/unruly, multivariate logistic regression analysis indicates that youth at risk for sleep problems are 1.78 (95% confidence interval = 1.24-2.55) and youth with actionable sleep problems are 3.30 (95% confidence interval = 1.78-6.14) times more likely than youth without sleep problems to have school problems. Results suggest that the school performance of youth entering state custody adjudicated dependent-neglect/unruly may benefit from systematic screening and intervention for sleep problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Sleep problems
  • children and adolescents
  • school problems
  • state custody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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