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Sleep. 1993 Apr;16(3):258-62.

Association between puberty and delayed phase preference.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, E. P. Bradley Hospital/Brown University, E. Providence, Rhode Island 02915.


Many teenagers go to bed and wake up significantly later than younger children, a developmental progression thought to reflect adolescent psychosocial processes. To determine whether biological processes may underlie a delay of phase preference in adolescents, 183 sixth-grade boys and 275 sixth-grade girls completed questionnaires for morningness/eveningness (M/E) and pubertal status. School environment and birth order were also evaluated. A significant relationship of pubertal status to M/E was found in girls, with a similar though nonsignificant trend in boys. No relationship between M/E and psychosocial factors was found. These data support involvement of a biological factor in the adolescent phase preference delay and indicate that our current understanding of adolescent sleep patterns may need revision.

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