Family Chaos and Child Functioning in Relation to Sleep Problems Among Children at Risk for Obesity

Richard E. Boles, Ann C. Halbower, Stephen Daniels, Thrudur Gunnarsdottir, Nancy Whitesell, Susan L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the influence of child and family functioning on child sleep behaviors in low-income minority families who are at risk for obesity. A cross-sectional study was utilized to measure child and family functioning from 2013 to 2014. Participants were recruited from Head Start classrooms while data were collected during home visits. A convenience sample of 72 low-income Hispanic (65%) and African American (32%) families of preschool-aged children were recruited for this study. We assessed the association of child and family functioning with child sleep behaviors using a multivariate multiple linear regression model. Bootstrap mediation analyses examined the effects of family chaos between child functioning and child sleep problems. Poorer child emotional and behavioral functioning related to total sleep behavior problems. Chaos associated with bedtime resistance significantly mediated the relationship between Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) and Bedtime Resistance. Families at high risk for obesity showed children with poorer emotional and behavioral functioning were at higher risk for problematic sleep behaviors, although we found no link between obesity and child sleep. Family chaos appears to play a significant role in understanding part of these relationships. Future longitudinal studies are necessary to establish causal relationships between child and family functioning and sleep problems to further guide obesity interventions aimed at improving child sleep routines and increasing sleep duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 9 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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