Puberty-Dependent Sleep Regulation and Alcohol Use in Early Adolescents

Authors

  • Sara Pieters,

    1. From the Behavioural Science Institute (SA, HVDV, WJB, RCMEE), Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; ADAPT Lab, Department of Psychology (RWW), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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  • Haske Van Der Vorst,

    1. From the Behavioural Science Institute (SA, HVDV, WJB, RCMEE), Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; ADAPT Lab, Department of Psychology (RWW), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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  • William J. Burk,

    1. From the Behavioural Science Institute (SA, HVDV, WJB, RCMEE), Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; ADAPT Lab, Department of Psychology (RWW), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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  • Reinout W. Wiers,

    1. From the Behavioural Science Institute (SA, HVDV, WJB, RCMEE), Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; ADAPT Lab, Department of Psychology (RWW), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels

    1. From the Behavioural Science Institute (SA, HVDV, WJB, RCMEE), Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands; ADAPT Lab, Department of Psychology (RWW), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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Reprint requests:Sara Pieters, MSc, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Montessorilaan 3, 6500 HE Nijmegen, the Netherlands; Tel: +31(0)243612803; Fax: +31 (0)24-3612677; E-mail: S.Pieters@pwo.ru.nl

Abstract

Background:  Research has shown a bi-directional relation between alcohol use and sleep regulation in adults. Much less is known about this association in early adolescents, while profound puberty-dependent transitions regarding sleep patterns take place in early adolescence. Moreover, puberty has been associated with an increase in alcohol use of adolescents.

Methods:  In this study, we investigated the associations between pubertal development, sleep preference, sleep problems, and alcohol use in 431 early adolescents (mean age: 13.66). Second, it was studied whether the associations changed when controlling for adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. Furthermore, we included gender as a moderator on all the associations.

Results:  Results showed that pubertal development was positively associated with sleep problems and more evening-type tendencies (e.g., favoring later bedtimes), which in turn were positively related to alcohol use. Underlying psychopathology, gender and educational level did not change these relationships.

Conclusions:  From this study, it can be concluded that both puberty and sleep regulation are important factors in explaining alcohol use in early adolescence.

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