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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

Sleep problems among adolescents: is there a relation with deliberate self-harm and aggression?

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Youmna Sabri
Master degree of Neurology and Psychiatry; May 2006, Mansoura University, MD degree of Psychiatry: Nov, 2011, Mansoura University, Lecturer of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Mansoura University, Mansoura
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1105.200713

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Background Adequate sleep during adolescence is important for healthy development and proper daytime functioning. Sleep problems are commonly reported in adolescents, with an estimated prevalence between 17 and 45%. Besides, adolescence period is usually associated with various behavioral problems such as aggression and self-harm. Aims The aim of this study was to evaluate sleep habits and the presence of sleep problems in an Egyptian adolescent sample. Moreover, this study aimed to examine the presence of a relationship between sleep problems and the development of aggression and self-harm among those adolescents. Patients and methods A total of 117 adolescents in the preparatory stage participated in this study. Three self-report questionnaires were used, Child and Adolescent Sleep Checklist, the Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory, and the Aggression Scale, for students for assessment of sleep problems, deliberate self-harm (DSH), and aggression, respectively, among those adolescents. Results A total of 117 adolescents, 51 (43.6%) male and 66 (56.4%) female, participated in this study; their mean age was 13.85±0.81 years. Bedtime problems and daytime problems are more common among adolescents, with higher scores (8.10±3.99 and 6.56±3.61, respectively). Of those, 36 (30.8%) adolescents had a score of 18 or more, and so they were considered to have sleep problems. The participated adolescents had score ranging from 3 to 38 in the Aggression Scale, with a mean±SD of 12.36±8.32. A total of 24 (20.5%) adolescents had engaged in self-harm according to the Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory. Moreover, a significant positive correlation (P<0.001) was found between sleep problems and both DSH and aggressive behaviors among those adolescents. Conclusion Bedtime problems and daytime problems were common among the participated adolescents. Moreover, DSH and aggressive behaviors were reported. This study provides evidence that there is a strong relationship between sleep problems and both DSH and aggressive behaviors among those adolescents. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of sleep problems and promoting sleep hygiene will, undoubtedly, improve adolescents’ daily functioning and will have good impact on controlling these annoying behavioral problems.

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