Marriage Problems Linked to Poor Sleep in Toddlers
May 17, 2011
A new study of more than 350 families found that marital instability when infants are 9 months predicted difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep when they were 18 months old. This finding held true even after considering factors like children's temperaments, parents' anxiety levels, and birth order. However, the researchers found that the inverse wasn't true—children's sleep problems did not predict marital instability.
Researchers studied adoptive families contemplating divorce, thus ruling out genetic factors and focusing only on how family stress may affect a child’s development.
"Our findings suggest that the effects of marital instability on children's sleep problems emerge earlier in development than has been demonstrated previously," according to Anne M. Mannering, who was a research associate at the Oregon Social Learning Center when she worked on the study; she is currently with Oregon State University. "Parents should be aware that marital stress may affect the well-being of their children even in the first year or two of life."
Copyright Notice: All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of the National Sleep Foundation. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. Links to Web sites other than those owned by the National Sleep Foundation are offered as a service to readers and the foundation is not responsible for their content. Click here to request permission.
Advertisement Notice: The National Sleep Foundation neither control nor endorse the advertisements, items or Websites featured in the advertisers links on our Web pages.