Maternal psychosocial adversity and the longitudinal development of infant sleep
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/15250000802329404
Research has identified associations between indicators of social disadvantage and the presence of child sleep problems. We examined the longitudinal development of infant sleep in families experiencing high (n = 58) or low (n = 64) levels of psychosocial adversity, and the contributions of neonatal self-regulatory capacities and maternal settling strategies to this development. Assessments of infant sleep at 4-, 7-, and 12-weeks postpartum indicated no differences in sleeping difficulties between high- and low-adversity groups. However, more infant sleep difficulties were reported in the high- versus low-adversity groups at 12- and 18-month follow-ups. Neonatal self-regulatory capacities were not related to the presence or absence of adversity, or to subsequent infant sleep quality. However, there were group differences in maternal settling strategies that did predict subsequent infant sleep difficulties. The pattern of sleep disturbance observed in association with maternal psychosocial adversity at 18-months was consistent with risk for broader impairments in child functioning.