Sleep problems are prevalent in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and are associated with the expression of restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs). Children (n = 57) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, n = 38) or developmental delay (DD, n = 19) participated in multiple assessments of intellectual ability, ASD symptoms, and RRBs (3 timepoints for ASD, 2 for DD). Sleep problems assessed at age 4 via parent report were associated with trajectories of higher-order RRBs (sameness/ritualistic/compulsive behaviors) from age 2–6 in the ASD group, and from age 2–4 in the DD group, even after controlling for intellectual ability, social-affective symptoms, and anxiety. Trajectories of stereotyped/restricted behaviors were unrelated to sleep problems. Sleep problems were associated with trajectories of higher-order (but not lower-order) RRBs in a transdiagnostic sample.
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Developmental delay
- Neurodevelopmental disability
- Repetitive behaviors
- Restricted behaviors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology