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Title: Parents, their children, and sleep : parental help-seeking behaviours and influences on child sleep
Author: Cook, Georgia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 4570
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: Child sleeplessness problems are common. There are a variety of sources which parents can and do utilise when seeking information about child sleep. However, very little is known about how, when, and why parents seek help for their child's sleep. It is also well established that a range of parent, child, and environmental factors can influence child sleep. Yet there are gaps in existing knowledge regarding the extent to which parental cognitions, knowledge about sleep, and their sleep practices are related and linked to child sleep. Method: In study one, 266 parents of 6-36 month olds completed an online questionnaire, which provided details of their child's sleep, parental knowledge about child sleep, and help-seeking behaviours. In study two, 46 mother, father, and toddler (12-24 month old) dyads participated. Each parent completed a questionnaire, which provided details about a range of parent and child variables, including parental perceptions of sleep, thoughts about sleep, sleep-related practices, and knowledge about sleep. Actigraphy provided an objective measure of child and primary night-time caregivers sleep. Results: Study one suggested that parents held a preference for informal types of sources of information for child sleep. A range of preferences for and barriers to parents' use of different sources and treatments were identified. Differences between parents' existing and ideal sources were also highlighted. Study two suggested that parental cognitions about their own sleep predicted their cognitions about their child's sleep. Poorer knowledge about child sleep was associated with problematic parental sleep-related practices. Notable differences were also identified between mothers and fathers. Conclusion: The thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge, of both parents, are relevant to children's sleep. Understanding the relationship between these factors could have theoretical and clinical implications for how child sleep is conceptualised, assessed, and treated.
Supervisor: Wiggs, Luci ; Appleton, Jane Sponsor: Oxford Brookes University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral