SAGE Journal Articles

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Sheares, B. J., Meyer, K., Leu, C-S., Lamm, C. I., Dorsey, K. B., & Evans, D. (2013). Sleep problems in urban, minority, early-school-aged children more prevalent than previously recognized. Clinical Pediatrics, 52, 302-309.


The goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of sleep disturbances in 5- and 6-year old Latino and African American children. Although studies on the effects of sleep disturbance have been conducted with older children, few have looked at younger children. Parents completed a sleep screening questionnaire about their child’s sleep habits and were asked if they had spoken with the child’s pediatrician within the last year about any sleep related concerns. Overall, 94% of children were categorized as having a sleep problem, compared to the 23% of children in the comparison sample. The authors suggest several factors that may explain why we see such a large difference between the two groups including an exaggeration of risk factors in the low-income environment the second sample was recruited from.

Discussion Questions:

  1. The two samples compared in this study were a predominately white, middle-class, suburban classroom and a primarily Dominican sample from a low-income urban area. What are some possible confounding variables the authors may have overlooked in their discussion?
  2. How might different parenting styles play a role in the development of sleep disturbances?
  3. The authors suggest some of the differences seen between the two samples might be related to changes in factors impacting sleep disturbances now compared to a decade ago. What might some of those factors be?

Children and Nature 

Kruger, J., Nelson, K., Klein, P., McCurdy, L. E., Pride, P., & Ady, J. C. (2010). Building on partnerships: Reconnecting kids with nature for health benefits. Health Promotion Practice, 11, 340-346.


There is a significant amount of research showing children are spending less and less time outdoors and more and more time indoors engaging in passive activities such as watching television or playing videogames. This article describes eight techniques designed by different land-management agencies to increase children’s participation in outdoor activities. There are many positive benefits, both psychological and physical, to interacting with nature and the goal for these programs is to help encourage both children and adults to get outside more.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How could we go about assessing these different programs to determine if they are in fact (a) getting children outside more and (b) increasing physical activity?
  2. Most of the programs target children through school or afterschool programs. Should more of these programs also target parents? How might the programs be altered to also include adult participation?
  3. One of the reasons cited for children spending less time outside is technology. Is there a way to design a program that would allow for a combination of these two worlds? Nature and technology are often seen as opposites, but what if we could find a way to integrate these? Would this increase the likelihood children would go outside more?