CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Sleep Sci 2024; 17(01): e106-e111
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1777786
Short Communication

Association between Sleep Problems and Psychopathologies among Preschoolers: A Brazilian Cross-Sectional Study

1   Instituto de Psiquiatria, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Felipe Alckmin-Carvalho
2   Medicine Course, Faculdade das Américas, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Marina Monzani da Rocha
3   Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Thiago Soares Campoli
4   Instituto de Neuropsicologia e Análise do Comportamento, Londrina, PR, Brazil
Thomas Hubert Ollendick
5   Department of Psychology, Child Study Center, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, United States
› Author Affiliations
Funding The authors declare that Renata El Rafihi-Ferreira has received research support from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp; case number 2012/14023-0; 2015-18841-7).


Objective To evaluate the relationship between sleep problems and psychopathologies in Brazilian preschool children.

Materials and Methods The present is a cross-sectional study with162 children: 81 with sleep problems referred for treatment (mean age: 3.67 years), matched by gender/age with 81 participants without sleep problems. Sleep problems were identified through a clinical interview with a specialist. Psychopathologies were evaluated using the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1.5-5 (CBCL/1.5-5).

Results Having sleep problems was a predictor of all forms of psychopathologies on the CBCL scales, except for the withdrawn scale. Aggressive behavior, depression/anxiety, affective problems, and oppositional defiant disorder were associated with presence of sleep problems.

Conclusion Given the probable bidirectionality of the association between sleep problems and psychopathologies in children, it is suggested that regular assessments of both phenomena should be performed in children referred for treatment of sleep problems and mental health problems in general.

Publication History

Received: 22 January 2023

Accepted: 04 August 2023

Article published online:
20 February 2024

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