Sleep and Temperament Maternal Perceptions of Temperament of Sleep-Disturbed Toddlers

Avi Sadeh, Peretz Lavie, Anat Scher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research findings: In order to assess the relations between sleep problems and temperament in infants, temperament ratings of 63 toddlers who presented with night waking problems were compared to those of 35 non-referred toddlers. An objective method to assess sleep patterns was used to validate the distinct sleep patterns of the two groups prior to the comparison of the temperament scales. Measures included: Toddler Temperament Questionnaire (TTQ) and the child's scales of the Parental Stress Index (PSI). On the TTQ, Night wakers were rated as having lower sensory thresholds compared to the controls. Night Wakers were also rated as less adaptive than the controls. On the PSI, Night Wakers were rated as more distractible; less reinforcing; less adaptive and more demanding. Practice or policy: The results suggest that sleep disturbances in early childhood are closely associated with negative maternal perceptions of child temperament. It is proposed that early detection and treatment of sleep problems during early childhood may prevent some of the associated negative behavioral consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994


  • Sleep
  • infants
  • night-waking
  • sleep problems
  • temperament
  • toddlers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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