Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies

Specialization

Developmental Science

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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