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Title: Sleep difficulties in primary school-aged children : a role for the educational psychologist
Author: De'Cage, Sanchia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 3479
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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The purpose of this study was to contribute to the paucity of literature present on educational psychology involvement in supporting primary school-aged children’s sleep. The research was formed using a pragmatic, mixed-methods approach with a two-phase design. Phase one explored the views of 59 participants (teachers, n= 16; parents/carers, n= 21; children, n= 22) about children’s sleep, their academic outcomes and psychosocial functioning. There were some associations between parent, child, and teacher reports of children’s sleep-related difficulties, academic outcomes and aspects of children’s psychosocial functioning. Phase two adopted a time-series pre- and post-intervention design with the aim of evaluating a school-based, six-week Sleep Club intervention for children. Twenty-nine participants (teaching assistants, n= 2; parents/carers, n= 13; and children, n= 14) took part in phase two, with the findings drawing on evaluations, quizzes, field notes, surveys, and parent interviews. Six children were selected to provide greater insight into parent and child views through case study analysis. At the end of the intervention, there was an increase in children’s sleep-related knowledge, and there were improvements in many aspects of children’s sleep-related behaviours. Thematic analysis identified that the Sleep Club facilitated communication about sleep between children and their parents and raised children’s awareness and understanding of their sleep. Children enjoyed being part of a club with other children, from whom they felt they were able to learn. Learning about emotions, sleep and the body was noted by several children, though some children did not enjoy completing the given questionnaires. Overall, participants felt that the individual sessions and the intervention could have lasted longer than the time offered. Twenty-two participants (76%, including parents, children, and school staff) reported that they would recommend the Sleep Club intervention to others. The role of the educational psychologist in supporting children with sleep difficulties is discussed.
Supervisor: Norwich, Brahm ; Tunbridge, Margie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sleep ; Educational Psychology ; primary school-aged children ; Sleep intervention