Children and adolescents with obesity and overweight are at increased risk for developing sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and SDB has been associated with cognitive deficits and executive dysfunction. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between executive functioning and SDB among adolescents participating in a behavioral weight loss intervention. Adolescents (n = 37) and their caregivers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and caregivers completed the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ). Using the Sleep Related Breathing Disorder scale on the PSQ adolescents were classified as at risk or not at risk for SDB. Correlations were calculated to evaluate associations between executive function and SDB. MANOVA analyses were also conducted to determine whether significant differences in executive function exist between adolescents at risk for SDB, and those not at risk. Significant correlations were found between SDB and executive functioning (r = 0.75; < .001). Significant differences were observed between SDB risk and non-SDB risk groups on the BRIEF parent report (F (1, 35) = 3.73; < 0.01). Differences in parent-report BRIEF scores across risk groups represent a large effect (d = 1.73). However, these differences were not replicated on the BRIEF self-report (F (1, 35) = 1.24; p < 0.05). Adolescents with overweight or obesity participating in behavioral weight loss interventions may be at increased risk for SDB and those adolescents at risk for SDB may have executive dysfunction. These deficits may have implications for treatment.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology



Date Submitted


Document Type





executive function, sleep-disordered breathing, children, adolescents

Included in

Psychology Commons