Sleep/Anxiety Clinic for Children of Vets

University of Houston Sleep and Anxiety Center for Kids

University of Houston Sleep and Anxiety Center for KidsThe Sleep & Anxiety Center for Kids (SACK) is a clinical research center located at the University of Houston (main campus) offering state-of the art, low cost assessment and treatment services for children with emotional and sleep problems.

As Director of SACK, Dr. Candice Alfano is a licensed clinical psychologist and world-renowned expert in sleep and anxiety disorders, whose research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Through a partnership with the Lone Star Veterans Association, SACK is conducting a research study to better understand the impact of military deployment on families with the long-term goal of developing effective, supportive intervention programs.

Research indicates that repeated and extended wartime deployment of a parent poses significant stress to families. In one recent study, 39% of returned service members and 32% non-military parents reported significant symptoms of anxiety and depression (Saltzman et. al, 2011). Such symptoms can directly impact one’s ability to effectively fulfill spousal and parental roles and may hinder effective communication within the family (Cohen, Zerach, & Solomon, 2011). Deployment may also cause considerable stress in children (Chandra et al., 2010) including problems with academic performance, increased irritability and impulsive behavior, sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety symptoms (Chandra et al., 2010; Mansfield et al., 2011; Mmari et al., 2009).

The study being conducted by Dr. Alfano and the research team at SACK will examine unique factors within the child, each parent and family unit as a whole that could increase risk for and/or provide resilience against negative outcomes following parental deployment. Information from service members, spouses/partners and children will be collected by mail via confidential questionnaires. No in-person visits are required and participating family members will receive financial compensation for their time. We are specifically seeking military families with:

  1. at least one parent who is a military service member who deployed as part of OIF/OEF; and
  2. with at least one child between the ages of 2 and 17.

No in-person visits required. Families will be sent questionnaire by mail.

All information is confidential and each participating family member will receive a $10 gift card.

To learn more please contact Jessica Balderas at (713) 743-4134 or by email at

SACK Offers Free Events for Military Families! 

The Sleep & Anxiety Center for Kids at the University of Houston (UH) offers military personnel, veterans, and their families several FREE workshops focused on sleep and sleep disorders. Topics include problems falling asleep, problems staying asleep, night terrors, post traumatic stress disorder and sleep, TBI and sleep, and medications for sleep. Workshops will be conducted by Dr. Candice Alfano, Associate Professor of Psychology at UH and a nationally-recognized sleep expert. Make sure to check out the LSVA’s Events page for up-to date information about dates and locations for the workshop!

The Sleep & Anxiety Center for Kids is proud to offer free services to all military families! If you are interested in finding out more about our services, a member of our team will be happy to speak with you over the phone and answer any questions you may have and discuss your specific concerns.

Contact Information:

Sleep and Anxiety Center for Kids University of Houston

4505 Cullen Blvd. Houston, TX 77204

Phone: 713-743-3400