Primary Menu

Education, Events, Publication

Funding & Recognition

Out Like a Light? Maternal Attachment and Sleep Procrastination

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Grace Carsey

Sleep is foundational to mental and physical health across the lifespan. Poor sleep contributes to major health complications such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression in adulthood. Adult sleep behaviors may be shaped by early childhood relationships, especially attachment developed in infancy. Parental responsiveness around infant sleep practices influences attachment and sleep patterns (Sagie et al., 1994). Secure attachment forms when parents are consistently responsive to infants' needs, especially for safety and security. Infants who experience inconsistent or unresponsive parenting develop regulatory patterns that are anxious or avoidant, respectively, dimensions that underlie attachment. Attachment avoidance and anxiety are associated with clinically significant sleep disorders in infants (McNamara et al., 2003). While there is abundant research on the effects of insufficient sleep, there is relatively little known about the causes of sleep procrastination which is when individuals avoid or delay sleep. Attachment anxiety and avoidance, especially around sleep may be associated with avoiding and delaying sleep in adulthood. This study analyzed adults' attachment avoidance and anxiety and bedtime procrastination. Participants (N = 145) completed the Relationship Structures questionnaire to assess attachment with their mother or mother-like figure while they were growing up and living at home, The Bedtime Procrastination questionnaire, and the While-in-Bed Procrastination questionnaire. Attachment avoidance and anxiety were significantly correlated with procrastination while-in-bed. Results suggest attachment avoidance and anxiety may be important for prevention and intervention efforts for sleep insufficiency and sleep procrastination and the associated mental and physical health.
University / Institution: Utah Tech University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Dannelle Larsen-Rife
Location: Union Building, ROOM 312 (9:00am)