College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kathy Grant, PhD

Second Advisor

Jocelyn Carter, PhD


Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sleep disruptions due both to hormonal changes (causing a shift in circadian rhythms, Pieters et al., 2015) and to school and extra-curricular commitments leading to sleep restriction (Carskadon, 2011). Sleep quantity, in turn, has been independently linked to low response inhibition as well as externalizing behaviors (Lowe et al., 2017; Gregory & Sadeh, 2012). This study aims to build upon these findings by testing the hypothesis that decreased inhibition will mediate the relationship between low quantity of sleep and externalizing behaviors. A representative sample of adolescents in Chicago, Illinois was recruited to participate in a larger study of stress processes. Ninety-four of the participants were randomly selected from the larger study to also take part in a 4-day actigraph watch collection to track sleep quantity. Regression analyses identified associations between sleep quantity and inhibition and externalizing symptoms, whereas there were no associations identified between sleep quantity and inhibition. Results of mediational analyses wherein inhibition was tested as a mediator of the effects of sleep quantity on externalizing symptoms were not significant. Yet, the findings of this study can inform prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk youth as well as guide future research on risk and protective factors.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons