Infants’ sleep is controlled by biological, child variables, as well as by the caregiving context. How mothers feel about separation from their child shapes their caregiving behavior, and, in turn, impacts the child’s ability to regulate physiological and emotional states. While separation distress from the perspective of the child has been a topic of extensive research, the parental side of separation anxiety has attracted less interest. The focus of this chapter is on maternal separation anxiety (MSA) with a view to address its contribution to infants’ sleep patterns. The data are based on a longitudinal study in which mothers reported MSA levels and the child’s sleep was objectively measured with actigraphy. Results indicated that higher levels of MSA at 8 months predicted a later hour of falling asleep and more nightwaking at 12 months. The involvement of separation distress in regulating the child’s sleep-wake states is in accord with current models of mother-child relationships and with a transactional model of sleep regulation.
|Title of host publication||Advances in Psychology Research, Volume 67|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2010|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2010 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (all)