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Title: How can parents be supported in improving child sleep and is this a role for educational psychologists? : a mixed-methods multiple case study
Author: Redfern, Alexandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 1561
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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Child sleep difficulties are a common behaviour problem reported by parents (Wiggs, 2007). Sleep problems have been found to have an impact on cognition, mood, attention and behaviour (Vriend et al., 2013; Dahl,1996; Pilcher and Huffcut,1996; Fallone et al., 2005). Such findings suggest that involvement of educational psychologists (EPs) may be relevant in terms of addressing child sleep issues which could potentially impact on the child's social, emotional and academic development. Existing research supports the effectiveness of behavioural interventions to address child sleep difficulties (Malow et al., 2014; Moon et al., 2010; Reed et al., 2009; Ramchandani et al, 2000; Milan et al., 1981; Adams and Rickert, 1989). The present research was a multiple case study involving the parents of three children with sleep difficulties who participated in a trainee EP-led intervention designed to improve child sleep. A mixed-methodological exploratory design was used. Intervention materials were created and delivered to parents individually by the researcher during one two-hour session. Skills typically employed by EPs were used to facilitate change. Parents put into action an individualised and collaboratively-created plan supported by weekly telephone calls. The School Behaviours Rating Scale (Gardon, 2009), the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (Owens, 2000) and sleep diaries were used to gather data to measure pre- and post-intervention scores. Analysis of sleep diaries kept throughout the intervention and a post-intervention questionnaire also provided data about influence. Thematic analysis of pre- and post-intervention parent interviews and of the researcher reflective diary explored stories around sleep and experiences of the intervention as well as the significance of the role of the EP/trainee EP (TEP). Findings suggest that all parents reported an improvement in child sleep. There were some improvements in teacher reports of child behaviour but this is not considered to be conclusive. Parents reported a high level of satisfaction with the intervention. Methodological limitations of the results are discussed and implications for professional practice in terms of the role of EPs are considered.
Supervisor: Campbell, L. N. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available