Children’s Attachment to Parents and Their Academic Functioning: Sleep Disruptions as Moderators of Effects

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Objective:We investigated the amount and quality of children’s sleep as a moderator of relations between attachment to parents and child academic functioning.Method:Data were from a sample of 166 third graders in the Southeastern USA. Children reported on the security of their attachments to both mothers and fathers, and standard assessments of academic achievement were obtained from schools. Children completed questionnaire measures of subjective sleep problems and their sleep was assessed objectively via actigraphs worn for seven consecutive nights.Results:Attachment insecurity was associated with lower math achievement for children with objective sleep problems (lower quantity and efficiency).Conclusion:Findings suggest that better sleep ameliorates the risk for academic performance difficulties associated with insecure attachments to parents, and functions as a protective factor in this context.

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