Self-injurious behavior and sleep disturbance in adults with developmental disabilities

Frank J. Symons, Michelle L. Davis, Travis Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Sleep patterns of 30 individuals with self-injurious behavior and mental retardation were compared with those of 30 matched controls residing in the same residential facility that did not self-injure. Individuals were recorded as asleep or awake during 30 min intervals for eight hours per night. The results of a Wilcoxon signed-ranks test (p < .05) indicated that individuals with self-injury slept significantly less than individuals without self- injury. χ2 analyses (p < .01) indicated significantly greater variability in the number of intervals recorded as asleep among individuals with self- injury than their matched controls. These results are congruent with previous findings of sleep disturbance among persons with mental retardation and behavior problems. The possibility of neurochemical dysregulation in sleep disturbance among individuals with daytime self-injury is discussed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2000


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