Date of Award

Winter 2004

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Director

Barbara Winstead

Committee Member

Michelle Kelley

Committee Member

John David Ball

Committee Member

Suzanne Getz Gregg

Committee Member

Dennis Kade


The objective of the study was to investigate whether school-aged children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) experience greater sleep disturbance than do normally-developing children. Participants included 33 parents and their children with ADHD (mean age = 10.7 ± 1.7 years) and 33 parents and their children without ADHD (mean age = 10.7 ± 1.6 years). Both parents and their children completed sleep questionnaires developed to assess a number of sleep variables. Based on parental report, the Total Sleep Disturbance score was significantly greater for the ADHD group than for the comparison group. Parents indicated that children with ADHD had significantly more disturbed sleep than did children without ADHD on 8 of the 10 sleep subscales of the Sleep Questionnaire for Parents. These were: Bedtime Resistance, Morning Difficulty, Parasomnias/Other Sleep Disturbance, Restless Legs Syndrome, Sleep Anxiety/Transitioning, Sleep Duration/Quality, Sleep Hygiene, and Sleep Onset. Although bedtimes and morning wake times were similar for children with ADHD and children in the comparison group, parents reported that children with ADHD experienced significantly less total time asleep. The children with ADHD reported their own sleep to be significantly more problematic than did the children in the comparison group. Similar to the parents' reports, children's reports of Total Sleep Disturbance was greater for the ADHD group than for the comparison group. Six of the 8 subscales on the Sleep Questionnaire for Children indicated more disturbed sleep for the children with ADHD: Bedtime Resistance, Daytime Sleepiness, Morning Difficulty, Sleep Anxiety/Transitioning, Sleep Duration/Quality, and Sleep Onset. These findings suggest that sleep disturbance should be routinely assessed as part of the clinical evaluation for and treatment of ADHD.


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculties of The College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.


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