facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

When parents fight, babies lose sleep

Aug. 3, 2011 at 7:11 PM   |   Comments

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Marital conflict between parents of adopted children ages 9 months to 18 months resulted in their children having trouble sleeping, U.S. researchers say.

Jenae M. Neiderhiser, a professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University, says adoptive families were used in the study because the researchers could focus on environmental factors, since there are no shared genetic factors if a child does not share genes with a parent.

"It is important to understand how parenting comes in to play here," Neiderhiser says. "Looking at the marital relationship is not direct parent-child interaction, but it is an index of stress in the family."

The researchers interviewed 357 sets of adoptive parents both together and separately, assessing their habits and emotions as well as their children's behaviors. The parents were interviewed twice -- first when their children were 9 months old, and again at 18 months.

Parents were asked a series of questions, including, "Have you or your partner seriously suggested the idea of divorce?"

The study, published in the journal Child Development, showed marital conflict during the first survey at 9 months predicted a child would be more likely to have sleep problems at the time of the second survey at 18 months.

"Our study suggests that marital instability is impacting change in the child's sleep patterns over time, and it could be that this is setting the child up for a pattern of problematic sleep," Neiderhiser says.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Enterovirus 68 now sickening children in Northeast Enterovirus 68 now sickening children in Northeast
2
NFL players have 30 percent chance of developing Alzheimer's or dementia NFL players have 30 percent chance of developing Alzheimer's or dementia
3
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
The brain takes special notice of winning The brain takes special notice of winning
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback