Social and Demographic Predictors of Preschoolers' Bedtime Routines

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the associations of child and family sociodemographic characteristics with preschooler bedtime routines.

Method:

We use parent-report data of 3217 3-year-old children (48% black, 26% Hispanic, and 22% white) from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine whether child and family characteristics are associated with the presence, time, and consistency of bedtime routines.

Results:

More than 80% of sample children have a bedtime yet only two thirds follow it. After extensive controls for maternal education, family structure, and other household characteristics, black and Hispanic children have later bedtimes than white children and reduced odds of using regular bedtimes (by 22% and 29%, respectively) and using bedtime routines (by 47% and 33%, respectively). Low maternal education, increased household size, and poverty are associated with decreased use of parent-child interactive and hygiene-related bedtime routines.

Conclusion:

Children from disadvantaged households are less likely to have consistent bedtime routines than their more advantaged counterparts. This may contribute to later disparities in sleep quality, duration and timing, factors known to be associated with adverse behavioral, cognitive, and health outcomes.

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