Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Jaime L. Dice

Abstract

Co-sleeping has been considered as a dangerous sleeping practice for infants by some parents and pediatricians. However, past research found that co-sleeping in early childhood has a positive influence on both physical and mental development as well as the parent-child relationship, which suggests that co-sleeping may have a positive influence on self-regulation development. This study aims to investigate the relationship between co-sleeping and two self-regulation constructs: socioemotional control and cognitive control by analyzing data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). After excluding the unqualified cases and weighing the sample size with adjusted DEFF weight, the final analytic sample contained 1,130 cases. The findings suggest that sleep arrangement was not a significant predictor for socioemotional control but was able to marginally predict cognitive control of preschool children. The sleep-alone children were found to have higher self-regulation than co-sleeping children. The findings were not consistent with the expectation that co-sleeping will has a positive influence on self-regulation but limitations in the data collection and design may explain this. Future studies regarding co-sleeping and self-regulation development are needed to investigate the nature of co-sleeping further.

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