Child Temperament, Parenting Discipline Style, and Daytime Behavior in Childhood Sleep Disorders

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Fifty-two children without significant sleep disturbance seen at a primary care clinic for well-child care were compared on measures of temperament, parenting style, daytime behavior, and overall sleep disturbance to three diagnostic subgroups identified in a pediatric sleep clinic: children with obstructive sleep apnea (n=33), parasomnias (night terrors, sleepwalking, etc.) (n=16), and behavioral sleep disorders (limitsetting disorder, etc.) (n=31). The mean age of the entire sample was 5.7 years. Temperamental emotionality in the behavioral sleep disorders group was associated with a higher level of sleep disturbance (p<.001); parenting laxness was associated with sleep disturbance in the general pediatric population (p<.01); and intense and negative temperament characteristics seemed to be associated with clinically significant behavioral sleep disturbances. Ineffective parenting styles and daytime disruptive behaviors were more likely to be associated with the milder sleep disturbances found in children in a primary care setting. J Dev Behav Pediatr 18:314-321, 1997.

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