Associations between diurnal preference, sleep quality and externalizing behaviours: a behavioural genetic analysis

Barclay, Nicola, Eley, Thalia, Maughan, Barbara, Rowe, Richard and Gregory, Alice (2011) Associations between diurnal preference, sleep quality and externalizing behaviours: a behavioural genetic analysis. Psychological Medicine, 41 (05). pp. 1029-1040. ISSN 0033-2917

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291710001741

Abstract

Background - Certain aspects of sleep co-occur with externalizing behaviours in youth, yet little is known about these associations in adults. The present study: (1) examines the associations between diurnal preference (morningness versus eveningness), sleep quality and externalizing behaviours; (2) explores the extent to which genetic and environmental influences are shared between or are unique to these phenotypes; (3) examines the extent to which genetic and environmental influences account for these associations.

Method - Questionnaires assessing diurnal preference, sleep quality and externalizing behaviours were completed by 1556 young adult twins and siblings.

Results - A preference for eveningness and poor sleep quality were associated with greater externalizing symptoms [r=0.28 (95% CI 0.23–0.33) and 0.34 (95% CI 0.28–0.39), respectively]. A total of 18% of the genetic influences on externalizing behaviours were shared with diurnal preference and sleep quality and an additional 14% were shared with sleep quality alone. Non-shared environmental influences common to the phenotypes were small (2%). The association between diurnal preference and externalizing behaviours was mostly explained by genetic influences [additive genetic influence (A)=80% (95% CI 0.56–1.01)], as was the association between sleep quality and externalizing behaviours [A=81% (95% CI 0.62–0.99)]. Non-shared environmental (E) influences accounted for the remaining variance for both associations [E=20% (95% CI −0.01 to 0.44) and 19% (95% CI 0.01–0.38), respectively].

Conclusions - A preference for eveningness and poor sleep quality are moderately associated with externalizing behaviours in young adults. There is a moderate amount of shared genetic influences between the phenotypes and genetic influences account for a large proportion of the association between sleep and externalizing behaviours. Further research could focus on identifying specific genetic polymorphisms common to both sleep and externalizing behaviours.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Diurnal preference, externalizing behaviours, genetics, sleep, twins
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2011 12:10
Last Modified: 10 May 2017 14:06
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4228

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