Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-5-2019


Toney, M. (2019). Sleep-Wake Problems and Daytime Sleepiness as Predictors of Emotion Regulation Strategies: A Longitudinal Study in Early Adolescence. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Megan Toney 2019.


Objective: Research has analyzed the association between poor sleep and emotion regulation abilities, yet most studies have focused on adult samples which may not generalize to youth. The present study examines how sleep problems and daytime sleepiness in early adolescence were associated with specific forms of emotion regulation later in adolescence.

Methods: A group of 109 children from a larger longitudinal study on cognitive development completed questionnaires at two separate timepoints. Cognitive tasks and survey-based measures were completed at the first point of data collection (Mage = 11.90, SD = .91, range = 10-14). Approximately 10 months later, additional surveys were emailed to participants (Mage = 12.73, SD = .899, range = 12-15).

Results: Controlling for daytime sleepiness at the more recent time point and demographic variables, sleep-wake problems at the first time point and daytime sleepiness at both time points were considered as predictors of later cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, respectively, in multiple regression models. Greater sleep-wake problems uniquely predicted decreased use of cognitive reappraisal and increased use of expressive suppression. However, daytime sleepiness did not significantly predict either regulation strategy.

Conclusions: The findings from the current study build on the growing body of research demonstrating that poor sleep in adolescence can have negative impacts on health outcomes, especially with the ability to regulate emotions. These results have important implications for sleep intervention earlier in development, with the aim to improve emotion regulation abilities later in adolescence.