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Issues in Educational Research, 2019, Vol 29(3), 841-857.
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Exploring the association between perceived excessive daytime sleepiness in children and academic outcomes

Beris Ludwig, Simon S. Smith
University of Queensland, Australia

Helen Heussler
University of Queensland and Queensland Children's Hospital, Australia

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in children has been associated with a number of problems. In contrast to adults who experience EDS and who may fall asleep or doze when in a monotonous or boring situation, children with EDS may present as hyperactive or poorly behaved. This community-based study aims to identify the prevalence of EDS in children from three perspectives: parent report, self-report, and teacher report. The study also explores the association between EDS and academic outcomes in children. The participants were 365 students (161 males) aged 4-12 years, their parents, and their teachers at a regional school. Academic outcomes were based on each student's school grades at the conclusion of the semester in which the community-based survey was administered. Using a cutoff score of 15 or greater on the PDSS, 113 (31%) students were identified by at least one respondent as displaying or experiencing EDS. EDS as observed by teachers using the PDSS was found to be associated with the student's academic outcomes, higher sleepiness scores being associated with poorer academic outcomes. Our findings suggest that the prevalence of EDS in a community setting may be higher than previously identified.
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Authors: Beris Ludwig (corresponding author) is a psychologist in private practice and is currently completing a PhD through the University of Queensland. Her research interests include the learning implications of children and adolescents with hypersomnolence, and the impact of sleepiness on children's intellectual, academic, behavioural and emotional functioning.
Email: beris.ludwig@uq.net.au

Dr Simon S Smith is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Science Research (University of Queensland) within the Child Development Education and Care Group. He is a psychologist who works to understand the role of sleep and circadian rhythms in a healthy, safe, and productive life.
Email: simon.smith@uq.edu.au
Web: https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/15205

Dr Helen Heussler is an Associate Professor with the Child Health Research Centre (University of Queensland) and a developmental and behavioural paediatrician with a dual qualification in sleep medicine. Her clinical work involves children with a variety of developmental and behavioural problems as well as clinics that specialise in sleep disorders.
Email: h.heussler@uq.edu.au
Web: http://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/7226

Please cite as: Ludwig, B., Smith, S. S. & Heussler, H. (2019). Exploring the association between perceived excessive daytime sleepiness in children and academic outcomes. Issues in Educational Research, 29(3), 841-857. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/ludwig.pdf

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Created 14 Jul 2019. Last correction: 14 Jul 2019.
Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]