Marital and emotional adjustment in mothers and infant sleep arrangements during the first six months

Monogr Soc Res Child Dev. 2015 Mar;80(1):160-76. doi: 10.1111/mono.12150.


Although parents' structuring of infant sleep is complexly determined, little attention has been given to parents' marital and personal adjustment in shaping sleep arrangement choices. Linkages were examined between infant sleep arrangements at 1 and 6 months and mothers' marital adjustment, co-parenting quality, and depressive symptoms. The final study sample was composed of 149 families (53% girl infants, 86% European American). Bed sharing mothers had lower co-parenting quality, and, at 6 months, more depressive symptoms than mothers of infants in solitary sleep. One-month co-parenting quality was associated with predictable shifts in sleep arrangements from 1 to 6 months, but 1-month sleep arrangements did not predict changes in personal or co-parenting quality. Findings emphasize the need for greater attention to marital and emotional health in influencing family-level decisions about infant sleep arrangements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Beds
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Maternal Age
  • Mother-Child Relations / psychology*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology*
  • Social Class
  • Young Adult