Children’s Sleep and Externalizing Problems: A Day-to-day Multilevel Modeling Approach

Maureen E. McQuillan, John E. Bates, Caroline P. Hoyniak, Angela D. Staples, Sarah M. Honaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sleep problems and externalizing problems tend to be positively associated, but the direction of this association is unclear. Method: Day-to-day associations between sleep and behavior were examined in children (N = 22) ages 3–8 with clinical levels of externalizing problems. These children were enrolled in Parent Management Training and behavioral sleep intervention. During assessments before and after treatment, children wore actigraphs for seven days and parents concurrently completed sleep diaries and daily tallies of noncompliance, aggression, and tantrums. Multilevel modeling was used to account for the nested structure of the data, at the day-to-day level (level 1), within assessment points (level 2), and within children (level 3). Results: Late sleep timing and fragmentation were predictive of next-day noncompliance and tantrums, respectively. There were fewer associations for a given day’s behavior predicting that night’s sleep, although children who showed more aggression and noncompliance at baseline tended to have later bedtimes and sleep onset times compared to other children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Children’s Sleep and Externalizing Problems: A Day-to-day Multilevel Modeling Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this