Sleep Assessment in the Practice of School Psychology

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Abbass, Jennifer
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Objective: The purpose of this thesis was to explore the sleep assessment and intervention practices of school psychologists in Nova Scotia, and to identify the sleep education they received during their school psychology training. Methods: Through an on-line questionnaire, school psychologists answered questions regarding the frequency with which they take a sleep history with students and caregivers, the frequency with which recommendations are made regarding sleep behaviours, and the types of recommendations made. The participants’ education in sleep assessment and interventions was obtained. Demographic information, including gender, number of years in practice, and parental status, was also obtained. In addition, participants completed the HEXACO, a measure of personality traits. Results: 97% of the 30 participants indicated that they received no training in sleep assessment or interventions for sleep problems during their education. The largest groups of respondents reported taking sleep histories with students, and also with caregivers, only 0-20% of the time. The large majority (76%) of participants indicated they make recommendations involving sleep behaviours 0%-20% of the time. There were no gender differences in sleep assessment and intervention practices. The frequency with which school psychologists make sleep behaviour recommendations differed significantly between parents and non-parents and also correlated significantly with field experience. Parental status, years of experience and HEXACO personality variables did not show a significant relationship with sleep assessment practices. Conclusion: These results highlight the importance of strengthening the sleep curriculum within school psychology programs, and provide a strong, quantifiable, case for supporting continuing professional development in the area of sleep.
Nova Scotia , Sleep behaviours , Student and caregivers , Sleep assessment , Intervention practices