Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)



First Advisor

Mark D. Terjesen

Second Advisor

Tamara Del Vecchio

Third Advisor

William F. Chaplin


Sleep problems are common among children and adolescents. Children and adolescents with and without and psychiatric diagnosis experience sleep problems. Furthermore, secondary to sleep problems they suffer from psychological sequelae and academic difficulties. Although sleep problems are universal, Asian youth tend to sleep less and have more sleep problems. In South Korea, children and adolescents experience high levels of emotional and behavioral difficulties including depression, suicidal ideation, and disruptive behaviors. The current study aimed to investigate how sleep problems among a non-clinical sample of South Korean youth were related to psychological functioning including emotional problems, aggressive behaviors, and academic performance. A sample of 196 South Korean children and adolescents and their parents completed the Sleep Disorder Inventory for Students (SDIS) and the Conners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scale (CBRS). Academic grades were also obtained from the parents. The translated SDIS had good reliability, good concurrent validity, but poor replicated factor structure. Consistent with previous literature, results indicated that children with more symptoms of sleep difficulties as measured by scores on the New Total Sleep Disturbance Index (New SDI) and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) exhibited higher levels of emotional distress. Similarly, adolescents with higher scores on the New SDI, EDS, and delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) presented with more emotional distress and aggressive behaviors as well as poorer academic functioning. Furthermore, the relationship between sleep problems and academic functioning was mediated by emotional distress, such that children and adolescents with more sleep problems exhibited poor psychological functioning, which in turn negatively influenced their academic functioning. These findings suggest the importance of recognizing sleep problems on youth’s psychological and academic functioning. It is important to provide interventions to reduce sleep problems, which in turn improve psychological and academic functioning. Despite significant findings, the factor structures of the translated SDIS were not replicated and there were limited variances within sleep problems and psychological and academic functioning in the sample. Thus, further research should use psychometrically stronger measures to examine the complex relationships among sleep problems, psychological functioning, and academic difficulties among youth with clinically significant sleep problems.