Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2024

Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress

Thesis Committee Member

Hao-Jan Luh

Thesis Committee Member

Anne M. Walk


The purpose of the current study was to examine high school health curricula regarding sleep prevention and intervention practices and whether instructional content aligned with best practice for this age group. Specifically, the Primary Investigator and her thesis chair developed the Sleep Education and Preventative Practices Checklist/Questionnaire (SEPPC and SEPPQ) as tools to evaluate the sleep content covered in different public high schools across Illinois. The SEPPC and SEPPQ were identical in that they contained 17 different items which looked at different sleep topics reviewed by current literature. The SEPPC/Q contained two main topics: adolescent sleep knowledge (11 topics/items) and evidence-based preventative sleep practices (6 topics/items). The PI reached out to 215 different Illinois public schools where a total of 32 teachers participated (31 completed the SEPPQ [13 of the 31 also provided class materials] and one only provided class materials). In other words, there were 31 SEPPQ responses and 14 different health syllabi/materials to be reviewed. Overall, teachers reported teaching on more sleep topics compared to what was found when the PI reviewed their class materials. Additionally, teachers reported spending more instructional minutes teaching on topics pertaining to adolescent sleep knowledge compared to evidence-based preventative sleep practices. Additional analyses were conducted to evaluate the relation between the reported percentage of students who experience sleep problems and the amount of instructional minutes taught on sleep topics outlined on the SEPPC/Q. As such, there were only two statistically significant relationships between sleep problems and two of the items/topics on the SEPPC/SEPPQ. That said, there were moderate (positive) correlations and statistically significant relationships between student sleep problems and the number of instructional minutes taught on NREM sleep and employment.