Anna Kate Edgemon is a doctoral student at Auburn University studying under the mentorship of Dr. John T. Rapp. Anna Kate received her M.S. in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences and M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis at Auburn University, and her B.S. at the University of Florida. Her research interests include quantitative analysis of human behavior and improving conditions of confinement for justice-involved youth.
In 2019, 722,600 delinquency cases were opened across the U.S. of which, 26% involved detention (OJJDP, 2019). Detainees often experience poor sleep patterns arising from an environment that is hostile to sleep (Elger, 2007). Sleep disturbance is associated with increases in challenging behavior which, in residential facilities, can lead to detrimental outcomes. Adolescence is characterized by changes in physical, cognitive, and social development which sets a trajectory for health in adulthood (Canavan & Fawzi, 2019). Sleep plays a critical role during this time and sleep disturbance gives rise to poor outcomes during adolescence, such as aggression, anger, and impulsivity (Bardwell et al., 1999; Roth et al.,1976; Schubert,1977). Moreover, habitual sleep disturbance has been associated with poor long-term health outcomes (Alvarez & Ayas, 2004).
Although our understanding of adolescent sleep is deepening, few studies have evaluated sleep and sleep disturbances among detained adolescents. We will assess sleep disturbance among adolescents in a juvenile residential treatment facility (JRTF) using self-report sleep logs, self-report assessments, and wrist activity monitors. Findings from this study will support three main outcomes: (a) expanding our understanding of sleep disturbance among detained adolescents, (b) informing development of interventions for sleep disturbance among this population, and (c) examining an improved technique for individualizing the partitioning of activity data. We seek to accomplish these aims by (a) obtaining descriptive data of sleep behavior of adolescent males in a JRTF across a substantial span of time, (b) identifying environmental variables that exacerbate poor sleep, and (c) assessing an analytic approach to partitioning activity in a manner that respects individual differences and dynamic changes in sleep patterns.