The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of sleep schedule on the learning trajectories, acquisition, and consolidation for preschoolers participating in a training program targeting attention. This study expanded on current literature by examining the effect of training attention skills and focused on sleep in preschoolers using an experimental design. Explorations of how changes in bedtime play a role in training attention in preschoolers were made.
Sleep is important for daytime functioning and sleep loss has many implications, including risk for poorer academic performance and learning. Early intervention and preventive measures addressing executive functions can help children better manage their behaviors in work and play situations. Studies have shown that attention skills in children can be trained. This study expanded on current literature by assessing the generalization of attention training to other executive function skills, such as inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory. Research has mainly focused on inhibition and working memory, and more recently, attention. To hopefully improve understanding of the attention skills in preschoolers, an additional variable of sleep restriction was evaluated.
Findings indicated, contrary to initial prediction, that children who were sleep restricted performed better during post-test assessment compared to children who followed their typical bedtime schedules. Sleep restricted preschoolers performed better in all executive function areas that were assessed in this study, which included inhibition, cognitive flexibility, working memory, and attention. Findings revealed that acute sleep restriction in preschoolers increased the effects of attention training. Differences in findings from this study and other studies are addressed.
|Advisor:||Bates, John E.|
|Commitee:||Cummings, Jack A., Estell, David B., Huberty, Thomas J.|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, School administration, Early childhood education, Educational psychology, Experimental psychology|
|Keywords:||Attention training, Executive function, Preschooler, Sleep, Sleep restriction|
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