Modified Children's sleep habits questionnaire for behavioral sleep problems: A validation study

Published:April 08, 2017DOI:



      Behavioral sleep problems (BSPs) are prevalent and consequential in young children. There is a need for screening tools that identify BSPs—which are often rooted in the parent-young child relationship—and typically respond to behavior management. Such a tool would increase capacity to identify and treat BSPs. We sought to validate a short-form version of the widely used Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (SF-CSHQ) that omitted items that would not be responsive to behavioral strategies.


      The original 33-item CSHQ elicits parent report of “behaviorally-based” and “medically-based” sleep items (eg, parasomnias and sleep disordered breathing). We conducted analyses to develop a SF-CSHQ that excludes its “medically-based” items, to determine (a) the SF-CSHQ threshold score corresponding to the full CSHQ clinical cut-off score (≥41), and (b) preliminary validity of this SF-CSHQ. Data were re-analyzed from the original data that established the CSHQ's psychometric properties in 4–10 year olds, and a second dataset that established its validity in 24–66 month olds.


      In both datasets, a threshold score of 30 had correlations of 0.90–0.94 with the original cut-off. This 23-item SF-CSHQ cut-off functioned as well as the full CSHQ cut-off in discriminating between children with vs without a parent-reported behavioral sleep problem, and with vs without prolonged sleep latency (per actigraphy).


      We established preliminary validity of modified version of the widely-used CSHQ. This SF-CSHQ may be useful for widening screening and first-line guidance for behavioral sleep problems in young children, among professionals who are not sleep medicine specialists.
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