Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Sleep Disord. 2011;2011:104832. doi: 10.1155/2011/104832. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Do Parental Expectations Play a Role in Children's Sleep and Mothers' Distress? An Exploration of the Goodness of Fit Concept in 54 Mother-Child Dyads.

Author information

  • 1Child Development Center, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Steinwiesstrasse 75, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland.


This study describes parental expectations for sleep-wake patterns in healthy kindergarten children and explores their relation to children's sleep quality and parental distress. Data analysis of 54 mother-child dyads (age range of the children: 4-7 years) indicated that parental expectations for children's sleep-wake patterns differ between scheduled and free days and depend on children's chronotype. Mothers of children with late chronotype showed less adequate expectations for children's sleep onset time than mothers of children with early chronotype (e.g., morning types). Furthermore, children of mothers with less adequate expectations for children's sleep onset time on scheduled days had longer settling periods during which sleep rituals may take place (r = 0.31, P ≤ 0.05), spent more time in bed than they actually sleep (r = 0.35, P ≤ 0.01), and had more frequently difficulties falling asleep (r = 0.33, P ≤ 0.01). However, less adequate expectations for children's sleep onset time were not associated with parental distress (P > 0.05). We conclude that parental expectations about their children's sleep play a key role in understanding normal and abnormal sleep during childhood.

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Hindawi Publishing Corporation Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk