Associations between sleep disturbance and suicidal ideation in adolescents admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit

Sebastian G. Kaplan, Shahzad K. Ali, Brittany Simpson, Victoria Britt, W. Vaughn McCall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The goals of our study were to: 1) describe the incidence of disturbances in sleep quality, sleep hygiene, sleep-related cognitions and nightmares; and 2) investigate the association between these sleep-related disturbances and suicidal ideation (SI), in adolescents admitted to a psychiatric inpatient unit. Our sample consisted of 50 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years (32 females and 18 males; 41 Caucasian and nine African American). Our cross-sectional design involved the administration of the Adolescent Sleep Wake Scale (ASWS), the Adolescent Sleep Hygiene Scale (ASHS), the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep-Short version for use with children (DBAS-C10), the Disturbing Dreams and Nightmare Scale (DDNSI), and the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire Jr (SIQ-JR). Analyses were conducted using Pearson correlations, as well as univariate and multivariate regression. Results indicated that our sample experienced sleep disturbances and SI to a greater degree than non-clinical samples. Sleep quality was correlated with nightmares, while sleep quality and nightmares were each correlated with SI. Sleep quality, dysfunctional beliefs, and nightmares each independently predicted SI. Our study was the first to use the four sleep measures with an adolescent psychiatric inpatient sample. It is important to develop sleep-related assessment tools in high-risk populations given the link between sleep disturbances and suicidality. Furthermore, a better understanding of the relationships between SI and sleep quality, sleep-related cognitions, and nightmares is needed to develop potential prevention and treatment options for suicidality in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-416
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014


  • assessment
  • sleep
  • suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between sleep disturbance and suicidal ideation in adolescents admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this