UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Relationships between parental sleep quality, fatigue, cognitions about infant sleep, and parental depression pre and post-intervention for infant behavioral sleep problems Hall, Wendy A.; Moynihan, Melissa; Bhagat, Radhika; Wooldridge, Joanne

Abstract

Background: Maternal and paternal depression has been associated with infants’ behavioral sleep problems. Behavioral sleep interventions, which alter parental cognitions about infant sleep, have improved infant sleep problems. This study reports relationships between parental depression, fatigue, sleep quality, and cognitions about infant sleep pre and post-intervention for a behavioral sleep problem. Methods This secondary analysis of data from Canadian parents (n = 455), with healthy infants aged 6-to-8-months exposed to a behavioral sleep intervention, examined baseline data and follow-up data from 18 or 24 weeks post intervention (group teaching or printed material) exposure. Parents reported on sleep quality, fatigue, depression, and cognitions about infant sleep. Data were analyzed using Pearson’s r and stepwise regression analysis. Results Parents’ fatigue, sleep quality, sleep cognitions, and depression scores were correlated at baseline and follow-up. At baseline, sleep quality (b = .52, 95% CI .19–.85), fatigue (b = .48, 95% CI .33–.63), doubt about managing infant sleep (b = .44, 95% CI .19–.69), and anger about infant sleep (b = .69, 95% CI .44–.94) were associated with mothers’ depression. At baseline, fathers’ depression related to sleep quality (b = .42, 95% CI .01–.83), fatigue (b = .47, 95% CI .32–.63), and doubt about managing infant sleep (b = .50, 95% CI .24–.76). At follow-up, mothers’ depression was associated with sleep quality (b = .76, 95% CI .41–1.12), fatigue (b = .25, 95% CI .14–.37), doubt about managing infant sleep (b = .44, 95% CI .16–.73), sleep anger (b = .31, 95% CI .02–.59), and setting sleep limits (b = −.22, 95% CI -.41-[−.03]). At follow-up, fathers’ depression related to sleep quality (b = .84, 95% CI .46–1.22), fatigue (b = .31, 95% CI .17–.45), sleep doubt (b = .34, 95% CI .05–.62), and setting sleep limits (b = .25, 95% CI .01–.49). Conclusions Mothers’ and fathers’ cognitions about infant sleep demonstrate complex relationships with their depression scores. While mothers’ setting sleep limit scores are associated with decreased depression scores, fathers’ setting limits scores are associated with increased depression scores. Parental doubts about managing infant sleep and difficulties with setting sleep limits require attention in interventions.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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