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Arch Dis Child. 2012 Oct;97(10):900-5. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2011-301360. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Factors influencing infant sleep position: decisions do not differ by SES in African-American families.

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Children's National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA.



To investigate factors influencing African-American parents' knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding infant sleep position and determine if these differ by socioeconomic status (SES).


A cross-sectional sample of 412 parents with infants ≤6 months of age participated in a validated survey of knowledge, attitudes and practice.


There was no significant difference in attitudes or practice, and knowledge was similar regarding infant sleep position between African-American parents of higher and lower SES. The healthcare provider recommendation of exclusive supine sleep position use was associated with increased knowledge, overall decreased use of the side position (5.0% vs 16.8%, p<0.01) and increased occasional use of the supine position in the lower SES group (81.6% vs 68.6%, p=0.03). It was not associated with increased positive parental attitudes about the supine sleep position in either group. Neither a senior caregiver living in the home nor observation of hospital personnel placing infants in a non-supine position was associated with differences in sleep position practices in either group.


Sleep position practices in African-American families do not differ by SES. Improved attitudes toward positioning and increased use of supine positioning may result if healthcare providers address common concerns and misconceptions about sleep position.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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