Mother–father agreement and one-year stability of children's sleep functioning

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Abstract

Objectives To (1) evaluate mother–father agreement of total sleep problems and specific sleep problem domains and (2) examine the one-year stability of children's sleep functioning, including cross-rater stability. Methods A community-based sample of 519 children (51% boys) in Spain was assessed in third grade and again 1 year later. At each time-point, both mothers and fathers provided ratings of sleep functioning using the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ). Results Sleep scores did not differ between mothers' and fathers' ratings. Cross-sectionally (at both time-points) and longitudinally (from grade 3 to grade 4), strong agreement was found between mothers' and fathers' ratings of total sleep problems, sleep habits, night wakings, and parasomnias. Lower agreement was found for daytime sleepiness and sleep onset delay. There was large effect size stability for both mothers' and fathers' ratings over the one-year period on the total sleep disturbance scale and most sleep subscales. Conclusions This study provides the first evidence of strong mother–father agreement on subjective ratings of children's sleep functioning, both concurrently and over a one-year period, for overall sleep problems and certain sleep domains. However, agreement was far from identical, and further studies are needed to evaluate reasons for discrepancy and whether mother–father discrepancy in sleep functioning predicts children's functioning. More studies are needed that systematically include both mothers' and fathers' perspectives regarding children's sleep.

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Becker, S. P., Isaacson, P. A., Servera, M., Sáez, B., & Burns, G. L. (2017). Mother–father agreement and one-year stability of children’s sleep functioning. Sleep Medicine, 36, 29–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2017.04.006

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