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Free Content Parenting matters: a longitudinal study into parenting and adolescent sleep

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The current three‐wave longitudinal study examined the differential relations between general parenting behaviour (monitoring, autonomy granting, and the quality of the parent–adolescent relationship) and adolescent sleep (bedtimes, time in bed, sleep quality and sleepiness) over a period of 2 years. At Time 1, the sample consisted of 650 adolescents between 12 and 15 years old (M = 13.36 years; SD = 0.55 years). At Time 2, 563 adolescents participated, and at Time 3 there were 493 adolescents. The distribution of boys and girls was about equal. Adolescents completed questionnaires in the classroom. Linear mixed model analyses were performed, controlling for sex, age, social economic status and ethnicity. Results showed that higher levels of monitoring contributed to earlier bedtimes, longer time in bed, better sleep quality and less sleepiness. The parent–adolescent relationship quality showed positive associations with time in bed, sleep quality and sleepiness, but not with bedtimes. Autonomy granting appeared hardly to be related to any of the sleep variables. In addition, passing of time, sex and ethnicity contributed to adolescent sleep as main effects or in interaction with parental control and support, suggesting that the main effects of monitoring and the quality of the parent–adolescent relationship are not constant across the whole range of the covariates. Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that general parenting behaviour may contribute to better adolescent sleep over time. Therefore, the involvement of parents in improvement of adolescent sleep is highly advocated.
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Keywords: bedtimes; child rearing; ethnicity; sex; sleep quality; social economic status

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2016

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