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Correlates and Risk Markers for Sleep Disturbance in Participants of the Autism Treatment Network

Abstract

We explored possible cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and physiological risk markers for sleep disturbance in children with autism spectrum disorders. Data from 1,583 children in the Autism Treatment Network were analyzed. Approximately 45 potential predictors were analyzed using hierarchical regression modeling. As medication could confound findings, it was included in the analyses as a covariate. Results revealed that anxiety, autism symptom severity, sensory sensitivities, and GI problems were associated with sleep disturbance. IQ positively predicted sleep disturbance, and children with Asperger’s Disorder were more vulnerable than others. The amount of variance in sleep outcomes explained by predictor variables was modest (i.e., R 2 from .104 to .201). Predictor variables were evaluated in the context of a bidirectional theoretical framework.

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Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the Autism Treatment Network and their study participants for making these data available for study.

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Correspondence to Jill A. Hollway.

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This manuscript was prepared from a dissertation that was conducted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of I/DD Psychology at the Ohio State University.

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Hollway, J.A., Aman, M.G. & Butter, E. Correlates and Risk Markers for Sleep Disturbance in Participants of the Autism Treatment Network. J Autism Dev Disord 43, 2830–2843 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1830-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1830-y

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Correlates
  • Risk markers