A longitudinal investigation of sleep and technology use in early adolescence: does parental control of technology use protect adolescent sleep?

C. Richardson*, N. Magson, J. Fardouly, E. Oar, C. Johnco, R. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: A bi-directional relationship between technology use and adolescent sleep is likely, yet findings are mixed, and it is not known whether parental control of technology use can protect sleep. The current study examined bi-directionality between technology use on school nights and morning/eveningness, sleep duration and daytime sleepiness in early adolescents. We also examined whether time spent using technology mediated the relationship between parental control of technology and adolescent sleep. Methods: Adolescents and their primary caregiver (96% mothers) completed questionnaire measures of sleep, technology use and parental control across three, annual waves: Wave 1 (N = 528, Mage = 11.18, SD = 0.56, range = 10–12, 51% male), Wave 2 (N = 502, Mage = 12.19, SD = 0.53, 52% male) and Wave 3 (N = 478, Mage = 13.19, SD = 0.53, 52% male). Results: When examining the direct relationship between sleep and technology use, cross-lagged panel models showed that time spent using technology predicted shorter sleep duration and greater daytime sleepiness in adolescence, and evening diurnal preference and shorter sleep duration contributed to increased technology use over time. The relationship between technology use and sleep duration was bi-directional. Time spent using technology and adolescent sleep predicted, yet were not predicted by, parental control of technology use. Conclusions: While normative changes in sleep (eg, increased eveningness) may promote increased technology use, technology use may further impinge upon sleep. Results suggest it may be pertinent to instead find creative ways in which adolescents themselves can mitigate their risk of inadequate sleep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-379
Number of pages12
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume84
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • media
  • parenting
  • sleep duration
  • eveningness
  • daytime sleepiness

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