Certain parental cognitions about child sleep and bedtime behaviours used with their child have been linked to poorer child sleep. However, previous research has focused on mothers and explored only a limited range of sleep-related cognitions and practices. The current study investigated whether parental cognitions and sleep-related practices (both in connection with their own sleep and their child’s sleep), alongside the bedtime behaviours used with their child were associated with and/or predictive of their child’s sleep. Mothers and fathers from 44 families (with a 12-24 month old) separately completed questionnaires reporting (i) their cognitions (about their own sleep and their child’s sleep), (ii) sleep-related practices (used in connection with their own and their child’s sleep) and (iii) bedtime behaviours used with their child. Child sleep was assessed through parental report and actigraphy. Both parents’ cognitions about their own sleep predicted cognitions about their child’s sleep. Mothers’ own sleep-related practices predicted the types of practices they used with their child. Different patterns of maternal and paternal variables influenced parental perceptions of their child having a sleep problem. Current findings highlight the importance of including mothers and fathers in child sleep research. Parents’ dysfunctional cognitions (their own sleep) and broader sleep-related practices (their own and child sleep) should be considered when exploring influences on child sleep. Results have possible implications for targets of interventions for child sleep problems and also potential implications for theoretical models of child sleep.
Appleton, Jane V.
Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-04-22
RADAR: Research Archive and Digital Asset RepositoryAbout RADAR