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Durham e-Theses
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Assessing the Impact of Two Sleep Interventions on ‘Normal’ Children’s Sleep Practices

NEWARK, MEGAN,ELIZABETH (2013) Assessing the Impact of Two Sleep Interventions on ‘Normal’ Children’s Sleep Practices. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Insufficient sleep duration in preschool children has been associated with adverse health consequences, including increased risk of obesity; impaired reaction time, attention, memory and behaviour regulation and reduced academic performance. Very little research has been undertaken on the sleep of ‘normal’ children, which includes children who have not been identified with a sleep disorder but are not getting enough sleep for their individual requirements. This study aimed to implement two social marketing interventions targeting the sleep practices of ‘normal’ three and four year old children within Stockton-on-Tees. The thesis explores the process of designing and delivering one intervention via participatory research with parents and one intervention through collaborative working with a number of agencies. The parent intervention used posters and leaflets and was delivered via four Sure Start children’s centres, one school nursery and one private nursery (n=19). The nursery intervention targeted children and delivered seven fun activities through two private nurseries and two school nurseries (n=31). A control group was recruited from five children’s centres and four school nurseries (n=40). A questionnaire assessed child sleep duration and behaviour, parental beliefs and knowledge pre and post-intervention. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with parents post-intervention. Unfortunately it was not possible to evaluate the parent intervention due to lack of ongoing engagement by the pre-intervention group with the Sure Start Centres during the intervention. However, although these findings relate to a small sample and should be treated with caution, following the nursery intervention, statistically significant changes were found in children's morning waking behaviour, parental satisfaction with their children's sleep and bedtime routine, and parental knowledge (p<.05). The difficulties encountered, and how these influenced the study is discussed, particularly with regard to power structures. The mechanisms by which the two interventions may have impacted upon parents’ behaviour, beliefs and knowledge are also considered.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Children's sleep duration, sleep interventions, social marketing, participatory research
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:30 May 2013 09:19

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