Behavioural and emotional profiles of children and adolescents with disorders of arousal.

Castelnovo, Anna; Turner, Katherine; Rossi, Alessandro; Galbiati, Andrea; Gagliardi, Alessandra; Proserpio, Paola; Nobili, Lino; Terzaghi, Michele; Manni, Raffaele; Ferini Strambi, Luigi; Manconi, Mauro; Miano, Silvia; Zambrelli, Elena; Paola Canevini, Maria (2021). Behavioural and emotional profiles of children and adolescents with disorders of arousal. Journal of sleep research, 30(1), e13188. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/jsr.13188

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Disorders of arousals are common sleep disorders characterized by complex motor behaviours that arise episodically out of slow-wave sleep. Psychological distress has long been associated with disorders of arousal, but this link remains controversial, especially in children and adolescents. The aim of this multi-centre study was to characterize behavioural and emotional problems in a sample of children/adolescents with disorders of arousal, and to explore their relationship with the severity of nocturnal episodes. The parents of 41 children/adolescents with a diagnosis of disorders of arousal (11.5 ± 3.3 years old, 61% males) and of a group of 41 age- and gender-matched control participants filled in the Child Behavior Checklist, along with the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children and the Paris Arousal Disorders Severity Scale. Multilevel t-tests revealed significantly higher total scores and sub-scores of the Child Behavior Checklist for the patient group compared with the control group. Thirty-four percent of the patients obtained pathological total scores, and 12% of them borderline scores. The severity of emotional/behavioural problems in the patient group was positively correlated with the severity of the nocturnal episodes. Interestingly, children/adolescents with disorders of arousal also obtained higher excessive daytime sleepiness and insomnia symptoms sub-scores at the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children. These results confirmed the hypothesis that behavioural/emotional problems are surprisingly common in children/adolescents with disorders of arousal. Further studies are warranted to investigate the causal relationship between pathological manifestations, subtler sleep abnormalities, and diurnal emotional/behavioural problems in children/adolescents with disorders of arousal.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Manconi, Mauro


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Chantal Kottler

Date Deposited:

30 Dec 2020 12:05

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:42

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Child Behavior Checklist confusional arousal night terror parasomnias psychopathology sleepwalking




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