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Dr. Amy Wolfson
Clinical Psychology, Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
Adolescents’ Sleep, Sleep Hygiene, and Daytime Functioning
In my lab we are conducting a number of studies regarding adolescents’ sleep/wake schedules. In particular, school-based preventive health education is considered a critical step in the goal to improve children’s health and to develop lifelong healthy habits. One health behavior - the development of efficient sleep patterns - has received little attention from public health and school officials, despite the knowledge that sleep plays a critical role in daytime functioning. I am collaborating with Dr. Christine Marco, Rhode Island College, in a study (funded by NIH, NICHD) aimed at examining the effectiveness of a school-based preventive intervention program for improving the quantity and quality of young adolescents’ (e.g., 7th and 8th graders) sleep/wake schedules (Sleep-Smart Program, Wolfson, 2001). Our research also focuses on factors that influence adolescents’ sleep and daytime behavior such as family environment, school start times, and caffeine and alcohol use/abuse. Likewise, we are also determined to better understand the consequences of inadequate and irregular sleep/wake patterns for children and adolescents such as academic performance, emotional well being, and physical health.
Women’s Health: Focus on Sleep
My research and writing also focus on women’s sleep and circadian rhythms with a particular emphasis on the pregnancy and postpartum period.
Wolfson, A., Lacks, P., & Futterman, A. (1992). The effects of parent training on infant sleeping patterns, parents’ stress and perceived competence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60, 41-48.
Wolfson, A., & Carskadon, M. (1998). Sleep schedules and daytime functioning in adolescents. Child Development, 69, 875-887.
Carskadon, M., Wolfson, A., Acebo, C., Tzischinsky, O., & Seifer, R. (1998). Adolescent sleep patterns, circadian timing, and sleepiness at a transition to early school days. Sleep, 21, 871-881.
Wolfson, A. R. (2001). The Women’s Book of Sleep: A Complete Resource Guide. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Wolfson, A. (2002). Bridging the gap between research and practice: What will adolescents’ sleep/wake patterns look like in the 21st Century? In M.A. Carskadon (Ed.), Adolescent Sleep Patterns: Biological, Social, and Psychological Influences. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Wolfson, A. R., Crowley, S., Anwer, U., & Bassett, J. (2003). Changes in sleep patterns and depressive symptoms in first-time mothers: Last trimester to one-year postpartum. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 1, 54-67.
Wolfson, A. R., Carskadon, M. A., Acebo, C., Seifer, R., Fallone, G., Labyak, S. E., & Martin, J. L. (2003). Evidence for the validity of a sleep habits survey for adolescents. Sleep, 26, 213-216.
Vo, O. T., LeChasseur, K., Wolfson, A., & Marco, C. (2003). Sleepy Pre-Teens: Second Pilot of Sleep-Smart Program in 7th Graders. Sleep (Supplement), 26, 1036.
Wolfson, A. R., & Carskadon, M. A. (2003). Understanding adolescents’ sleep patterns and school performance: A critical appraisal. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 7, 491-506.
Acebo, C. & Wolfson, A. R. (2004). Inadequate sleep in children and adolescents. In Kushida CA (Ed), Sleep Deprivation. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
LeBourgeois, M. K., Giannotti, F., Cortesi, F., Wolfson, A. R., & Harsh, J. (2005). The relationship between reported sleep quality and sleep hygiene in Italian and American adolescents. Pediatrics, 115, 257-265.
Wolfson, A. R. & Lee, K. (2005). Pregnancy and Postpartum. In Kryger, M. (Ed) Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, (4th Edition). W. B. Saunders Company.
Wolfson, A. R. & Carskadon, M. A. (2005). A survey of factors influencing high school start times. NASSP Bulletin, 89, 4-66.
Wolfson, A. R., Quinn, A., & Vannucci, A. (2006). Defining, assessing, and treating adolescent insomnia and related sleep problems. In H. Attarian (Ed.) Sleep and Its Disorders in Women (1st edition). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.
Wolfson, A. R., Spaulding, N., Dandrow, C., & Baroni, E. (2007). Early versus late starting middle schools: The importance of a good night’s sleep for young adolescents. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 5, 194-209.
Wolfson, A. R. (2007). Adolescent Sleep Update: Narrowing the Gap between Research and Practice. Sleep Review: The Journal for Sleep Specialists, 8, 28-32.
Canton, B., Patel, B., Quinn, A., Barry, K., Naku, K., Marco, C., & Wolfson, A. (June 2007). Wired or tired: Caffeine use, expectancies, and sleep patterns in adolescents- Two pilot studies. Sleep (Supplement), 30. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, Minneapolis, MN.
Wolfson, A. R. & Armitage, R. (in press). Sleep and its relation to adolescent depression. In S. Nolen-Hoeksema (Ed.) Handbook of Depression in Adolescents. Erlbaum.