By most accounts, contemporary American teenagers exhibit significant sleep problems. Sleep deficits and inconsistent sleep timing generate public health concerns because they place adolescents at risk for a host of developmental difficulties, including risky behavior and substance use, internalizing problems, obesity and academic underachievement. Efforts to improve teenage sleep must acknowledge that sleep, although a biological imperative is also a culturally and socially embedded practice. With studies suggesting disparities such that ethnic minority teenagers experience greater sleep problems, research that goes beyond simply demonstrating demographic variations and provides a deeper understanding of the role of cultural beliefs and practices in teenage sleep has become essential. Unfortunately, little is known about the processes by which cultural beliefs and practices impact teenage sleep. We propose building the capacity and infrastructure to create a research team and develop a trans-disciplinary toolbox of methods to conduct basic behavioral research on the role of cultural beliefs and practices in teenage sleep. By bringing together researchers with expertise in sleep, neuroscience, adolescent social development, and culture, we will work to (1) further develop and refine a trans-disciplinary conceptual and heuristical model of the impact of cultural beliefs and practices on teenage sleep;(2) develop a new toolbox of methods to study the impact of cultural beliefs and practices on teenage sleep;and (3) test the new methods, culminating in a finalized toolbox of methods to be used in a future, larger study of the impact of cultural beliefs and practices on teenage sleep.

Public Health Relevance

American teenagers exhibit significant sleep problems. Efforts to improve teenage sleep must acknowledge that sleep, although a biological imperative is also a culturally and socially embedded practice. We will develop toolbox of methods that can be used in future studies of the impact of cultural beliefs and practices on teenage sleep and intervention and clinical efforts to improve sleep within diverse cultural groups.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
Project #
5R24HL123014-02
Application #
8737041
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Stoney, Catherine
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
None
Type
Overall Medical
DUNS #
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095