Graduation Date

Summer 8-14-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Kevin C. Luczynski, Ph.D., BCBA-D


Direct observation of children’s sleep disturbance in the home is critical to understanding child behavior while awake and determining qualitative features of the sleep environment, but obtaining these data from an in-home recorded video, second-by-second, is impractical in terms of scoring time because observers score when the child is asleep and awake. In Studies 1 and 2, we conducted an analog study to assess a motion-detection camera to determine whether it would be suitable to measure children’s sleep disturbance. In Study 3, we obtained in-home measures of sleep disturbance for three children with an autism spectrum disorder using a motion-detection, momentary-time sampling (MTS), and actigraphy measurement system and compared the accuracy to a continuous, second-by-second, measurement system. We also recorded the time required to score each night of sleep disturbance and assessed social acceptability of the measurement systems. Results support the use of MTS 10-min as an accurate, efficient, and acceptable measurement system for scoring sleep disturbance. Implications for practice include obtaining videos from the home and scoring sleep disturbance on a nightly basis.