Relationships Between Chaos in the Home and Bedtime Routine for Preschool Children in Low-Income Families

David J. Schabdach, Ann E.E. Johansson, Cynthia A. Danford, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, 3500 Victoria Street, 440 Victoria Bldg, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Sleep problems have been linked to impairments in child development, including deficits in cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning, as well as a decline in physical health. Sleep can also be influenced by environmental factors. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine relationships between chaos in the home and pre-school children’s presleep/bedtime routines in low-income family households. Parent-preschool child dyads were recruited from family support centers in Southwest Pennsylvania. Parents completed the 4-item Parent-Child Sleep Interactions Scale-Sleep Conflict Subscale (PSIS-SC; high score; high conflict) and the 15-item Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale (CHAOS; low score; high chaos). Analyses included descriptive statistics and Spearman rank correlation test. Parents were all mothers (N=8), 30-45 years (M=35.5[5.7]), mean home income <$30,000 (n=7/8), half (n=4/8) with vocational education or less. Preschoolers were mostly females (n=5/8), 3-5.8 years (M=4.5 [1.1]). All parents (n =8/8) reported moderate to high chaos, describing their home as a “real zoo,” “not a good place to relax,” and “not able to find things” (M=3.5/4-point scale each). Reminding their child to go to sleep was significantly correlated with seeming rushed (ρ=-0.94, p=0.002) and not staying on top of things (ρ=-0.76, p=0.049). Arguing about bedtime scheduling was significantly correlated with not being able to talk without interruptions (ρ=-0.73, p=0.038) and a “fuss in the home” (ρ=-0.83, p=0.021). Physically taking the child to their room was significantly correlated with seeming rushed (ρ =-0.90, p=0.002) and noise in the home (ρ=-0.72, p=0.46). Child tantrums when made to go to sleep were significantly correlated with noise in the home (ρ=-0.73, p=0.41). Chaos in the home has potential for negative consequences for children’s bedtime routines. Attention to chaos in the home environment is an important factor when tailoring healthy lifestyle behavior interventions to improve bedtime routines and sleep quality. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: David Schabdach

Institution: University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

Type: Poster

Subject: Nursing & Public Health

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6029