A Longitudinal Study of Preschoolers’ Language-based Bedtime Routines

A Longitudinal Study of Preschoolers’ Language-based Bedtime Routines

A longitudinal study of preschoolers’ language-based bedtime Routines, sleep duration, and well-being A. Objectives of study: The objectives of this study were to investigate the associations of caregiver-reported use of language-based bedtime routines among preschoolers at age 3 with children’s nighttime sleep duration and cognitive, behavioral and health outcomes at age 5. Furthermore the study intended to identify whether parental or household characteristics helped explain these associations.

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Language-based bedtime routines include singing, reading, and/or storytelling at bedtime used to create a lasting positive benefit for children’s sleep duration and cognitive development. B. Methods: (1) Participants- Children were studied from age birth to 5 years old. Because of an oversampling of unmarried births, the study concluded that the sample children were more likely to have lived in low-income families, to have nonresident fathers, to be Black or Hispanic, and to have parents with lower levels of education than children in a nationally representative sample. 1% of the mothers in the sample were white, 27% Hispanic and 49% Black; the remainder were of another ethnicity. Over half of the children had their biological father present (53%), (38%) lived with a single mother, and (9%) had a stepfather or unrelated cohabitating partner present. Mothers included in the study were screened for eligibility shortly after the birth of a child. The mothers had to intend on keeping their babies and were required to speak English or Spanish well enough to be able to comprehend and answer interview questions.

They also had to be healthy enough to complete the interview. The baseline study sample consisted of 4,898 births. (2) Assessments/Tests/Instruments- Language-based bedtime routines measure: parents were asked yes/no response, “Do you have a regular routine of things you do when your child Is put to sleep? ” Responses included reading a story, telling a story, praying, talking, singing, all of which were coded as language-based routines. Nighttime sleep duration measure: 60 month in-home questionnaire with the following question: “How many hours of sleep a night does your child usually et? ” Longitudinal studies show that most preschool children sleep 10 to 11 hours regardless of napping status, and that children obtaining fewer hours are at risk for poor behavioral and cognitive functioning. Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test: This test measures language ability and receptive vocabulary and was administered in-person in both the 36 and 60 month in-home FFCW modules. The FFCW is a longitudinal cohort study of children born between 1998 and 2000 in 20 U. S. ities with populations of over 200,000. Child Behavior Checklist, anxious/depressed: Child Behavior Checklist, withdrawn subscale: Child Behavior Checklist, aggressive behavior: completed by the child’s primary caregiver to tap into aggressive, anxiety, depression, withdrawn behavior which all have been associated with sleep problems in young children. The verbal-based bedtime routines variable was measured via the 36-month in-home module. Child health outcomes measure: Utilized two global measures.

The mothers of the children were asked, “in general if their children’s health was excellent, very good, good, fair, poor? ” This was followed with an approach of whether the child was obese or not. The children’s height and weight were measured objectively during the in-home interview for age-appropriate BMI. C. Results: Mothers reported that children slept an average of 9. 5 hours per night at approximately age 5, and that children whose families utilized language-based bedtime routines slept slightly longer than those whose families did not .

The raw data reveal that children whose families utilize language-based bedtime routines fare better significantly better on all of the outcome measures except for obesity. Significant results specifically, language-based routines are associated with higher PPVT-R SCORES, fewer anxious behaviors, aggressive behaviors, as well as a 28% lower odds of a parent reporting their child in good, poor, or very poor health, as opposed to very good or excellent health.

Overall, the results indicate that language-based bedtime routines are associated with both increased sleep hours and improved cognitive skills. Finally, more research and educational campaigns around sleep and sleep-related behaviors, particularly those that encourage language-based bedtime routines need to target low socioeconomic households where this is not common practice. July 1, 2011 Tesha Crouther HD 205 Journal of Family Psychology


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