Insomnia and Associated Risk Factors in Later Adolescence
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Sleep is an essential component of health and well-being. The effect of insomnia, whether as a primary or secondary symptom, is a major health concern and should be closely studied and examined across all age groups. There is growing evidence that the effect of insomnia on adolescent’s functioning is comparable to that of other major psychiatric disorders (e.g., mood disorders, anxiety disorders, etc.). Insomnia is associated with significant negative consequences, impairing functioning across a number of emotional, social, cognitive, and physical domains (Carskadon, 1999; Johnson, Roth, Schultz, & Breslau, 2006; Roberts, Roberts, & Duong, 2008b; Wolfson & Carskadon, 1998). This study examines insomnia in a sub-sample of 15 to 19 year old participants (n = 2,866) using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS): Mental Health and Well-being (Cycle 1.2). Specifically, this study aims to: 1) assess the prevalence of insomnia among Canadian adolescents, 15 to 19 years of age; and 2) identify the variables associated with insomnia in this population. Based on the academic literature to date, it is hypothesized that insomnia will be significantly more prevalent among adolescents of the female sex and among those reporting psychological and/or physical health concerns. The analyses conducted included basic descriptive statistics (frequencies/percentages), bivariate analyses (Chi-square tests), and a multiple logistic regression. The prevalence rate of insomnia in adolescents was 9.5%, with no significant association found between sex and insomnia. The multivariate analysis showed insomnia to be significantly associated with the presence of a chronic condition, selected mood disorders (12 months), in adolescents who are experiencing “quite a bit” to “extreme” life stress, and in adolescents who were living in households other than with both parents. Insomnia was not found to be significantly associated with sex, selected anxiety disorder (12 months), heavy drinking, heavy cannabis use, and in adolescents who were only experiencing “some life stress”. What was interesting was that when all other variables were not held constant, heavy cannabis use and having a selected anxiety disorder was significantly associated with insomnia. By examining the prevalence rate and variables associated with adolescent insomnia, more informed knowledge can be used to create prevention and treatment strategies to address adolescent sleep problems. By doing this, we can hopefully mitigate any negative impact insomnia may have on the adolescent’s ability to function and address the concerns before they become chronic.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentDepartment of Educational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
Copyright DateMay 2012
insomnia, adolescent, quantitative, prevalence, mental health, chronic health, sex, life stress, household type, cannabis use, medication use, alcohol use