Longitudinal associations between the quality of parent-child interactions and children's sleep at preschool age.
ABSTRACT This study aimed to examine the prospective longitudinal links between the quality of mother-child and father-child interactions and preschoolers' sleep. Three dimensions of maternal interactive behavior were considered using 70 mother-child dyads, while the quality of father-child interactions was assessed using 41 of these families. Maternal mind-mindedness was assessed at 12 months during a mother-infant free-play sequence, maternal sensitivity was rated at 12 months based on observations performed throughout a home visit, maternal autonomy support was assessed at 15 months with a 10-min problem-solving situation, and the quality of father-child interactions was scored at 18 months, during father-child free play. Children's sleep was assessed at 3 and 4 years using a sleep diary completed by mothers during 3 consecutive days. Results indicated that, after controlling for family socioeconomic status and daycare attendance, the quality of both mother-infant and father-infant interactions was positively related to children's percentage of night-time sleep at preschool age. These findings add to previous literature in suggesting that early caregiving behavior by both mothers and fathers is related to subsequent child sleep.