Familial sleep and autism spectrum disorder: a pilot actigraphy study of sleep quality, quality of life and psychological distress

Geraldine Leader, Carmel Glynn, Bernadette Kirkpatrick, June L Chen, Páraic S O'Súilleabháin, Arlene Mannion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sleep problems are common among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and can have a negative impact on the child's behaviour and daytime functioning. The current pilot study examined objective measurements of child and parent sleep as factors associated with the stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, social support and quality of life of parents of children with ASD. Participants were nine children with ASD and their parents (nine mothers and three fathers). Participants wore an actigraph for 7 consecutive days and nights. Measures of sleep habits and quality were used to ascertain child and parent sleep. Measures of parenting stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, quality of life and social support were collated. Results indicated the emergence of high parental stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Significant correlations were observed between parent depressive symptoms, and both subjective sleep quality and child sleep disruptions. The present study found that parental well-being is affected by child sleep problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalIrish Journal of Psychological Medicine
Early online date11 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 May 2021

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • actigraphy
  • parents
  • quality of life
  • sleep problems

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