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J Fam Psychol. 2013 Apr;27(2):282-92. doi: 10.1037/a0031896. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Longitudinal relations between marital aggression and children's sleep: the role of emotional insecurity.

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  • 1Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5214, USA.


To gain a better understanding of relations between marital aggression and children's sleep problems, we examined children's emotional insecurity as a process variable and a moderator of effects using 3 waves of data spanning 5 years. Participants were 176 children at Time 1 (T1; M age = 8.68 years), 141 children at Time 2 (T2; M age = 10.70 years), and 113 children at Time 3 (T3; M age = 13.60 years) and their parents. Parents reported on marital aggression, children reported on their emotional insecurity about the parental marital relationship, and children's sleep was measured via self-reports and actigraphy. After controlling for autoregressive effects, marital aggression predicted increases in emotional insecurity 2 years later (T2), which in turn predicted an increase in sleep problems 3 years later (T3). Moderation analyses indicated that a higher level of emotional insecurity was a vulnerability factor for sleep problems in the context of greater marital aggression. Findings add to this emerging literature and illustrate the importance of considering sleep in the family context.

(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

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