Morningness–eveningness is not associated with academic performance in the afternoon school shift: Preliminary findings

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Abstract

Background

The effect of morningness–eveningness, sleep habits, and intelligence on academic performance has been studied in a fixed morning school shift. However, no studies have analysed these variables in an afternoon school shift and tested whether morningness–eveningness is related to academic performance beyond sleep habits and intelligence effects.

Aims

The psychometric properties of the Morningness–Eveningness Scale for Children (MESC) were analysed. Additionally, academic performance, sex, intelligence, sleep habits, and morningness–eveningness relationship in a morning and afternoon school shift were compared.

Sample

The sample consisted of 400 students at a secondary public school in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, in north-eastern Mexico (195 boys and 205 girls; mean ± SD: 13.85 ± 0.70 years old) attending a double-shift school system: 200 from the morning shift (99 boys and 101 girls) and 200 from the afternoon shift (96 boys and 104 girls).

Methods

The students completed the MESC as a measure of morningness–eveningness, a sleep habits survey, a test of academic performance, and the inductive reasoning subtest (R) of the Primary Mental Abilities battery.

Results

Adolescents in the two school shifts did not differ in academic performance and intelligence. In the afternoon shift, adolescents slept longer, reported less sleep deficit and social jet lag, and were more oriented to eveningness than adolescents in the morning shift. Sex (girls), sleep length, inductive reasoning, and morningness were associated with academic performance in the morning shift but only sex and intelligence in the afternoon shift.

Conclusions

The role of morningness–eveningness in academic performance in the afternoon shift is examined.

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