Early school start times may curtail children's sleep and inadvertently promote sleep restriction. The current study examines the potential implications for early school start times for behavioral problems in public elementary schools (student ages 5-12 years) in Kentucky.
School start times were obtained from school Web sites or by calling school offices; behavioral and disciplinary problems, along with demographic information about schools, were obtained from the Kentucky Department of Education. Estimated associations controlled for teacher/student ratio, racial composition, school rank, enrollment, and Appalachian location.
Associations between early school start time and greater behavioral problems (harassment, in-school removals, suspensions, and expulsions) were observed, although some of these associations were found only for schools serving the non-Appalachian region.
Findings support the growing body of research showing that early school start times may contribute to student problems, and extend this research through a large-scale examination of elementary schools, behavioral outcomes, and potential moderators of risk.
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Published online: February 24, 2017
Accepted: January 26, 2017
Received in revised form: January 24, 2017
Received: June 13, 2016
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