This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Sleep and Educational Environment: How do Children in Public/Private School, and Homeschool Settings Differ in Sleep, Subjective Well-Being, and Emotional Intelligence?




Landerfelt-Ozbolt, Melani

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


The study explored sleep, subjective well-being, and emotional intelligence among children ages 8 - 12 enrolled in either public/private school or homeschool. Previous research indicated educational environment relates to sleep duration and students function better from obtaining more sleep (Wolfson, Spaulding, Dandrow, & Baroni, 2007). Additionally, homeschooled students tend to receive more sleep than public or private school students (Meltzer, Shaheed, & Ambler, 2016). The Meltzer et al. (2016) study was the inspiration for the present study, which replicated some of their findings, accounted for some limitations, followed suggestions for future research, and looked at additional differences between public/private school and homeschool students. With parental consent, 213 participants (children ages 8 - 12 years) completed an anonymous online questionnaire. Results indicated the homeschooled children received about one more hour of sleep per night on average than the children who went to public/private school. The homeschooled children also reported better sleep hygiene practices and less daytime sleepiness than the public/private school children. There was no relationship between educational environment and children’s well-being, psychosocial health, or emotional intelligence. However, having longer sleep duration was related to children’s well-being and having less daytime sleepiness was related to higher psychosocial health and higher emotional intelligence. Qualitative data indicated public/private school students had similarly structured schedules each day, and homeschooled students had more variability in their schedules. Homeschooled students also more often reported having a stay-at-home parent in the home. Research implications, limitations, and future research suggestions are discussed from these results.