Improving Psychosocial Health, Coping, and Self-Efficacy in Parents of Sleep-Disturbed Young Children
- Corresponding Author:
- Angelika Schlarb
Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science
University of Bielefeld, P. O. P. 100131
33501 Bielefeld, Germany
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: November 19, 2015; Accepted date: March 18, 2016; Published date: April 09, 2016
Citation: Brandhorst I, Hautzinger M, Schlarb AA (2016) Improving Psychosocial Health, Coping, and Self-Efficacy in Parents of Sleep-Disturbed Young Children. J Psychol Psychother 6:249. doi:10.4172/2161-0487.1000249
Copyright: © 2016 Brandhorst I, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Objective: Various research has shown that mothers of sleep-disturbed young children experience poorer physical and mental health, show more symptoms of depression or anxiety, and demonstrate a higher level of stress. Coping strategies and self-efficacy might play an important role in this context. In the present study we aimed to investigate psychosocial health, coping, and the sleep-related self-efficacy of parents participating in an Internetbased treatment for sleep-disturbed young children (six months to four years of age).
Methods: N=199 mothers and N=197 fathers answered questionnaires regarding psychosocial health, coping, and sleep-related self-efficacy before, immediately after, and three months after treatment. Two intervention conditions (written information only vs. additional telephone support) were compared to a waiting-list control condition. The treatment essentially addressed the child´s sleep situation but also included information on parental coping and psychosocial health.
Results: Both parents showed impaired psychosocial health (depression, compulsiveness) and more maladaptive coping (rumination, self-blame) before treatment. Feelings of aggression were reported by mothers only. More psychopathological symptoms in both parents were related to more maladaptive coping strategies and less sleep-related self-efficacy. Adaptive coping was associated with higher sleep-related self-efficacy, while maladaptive coping was related to lower sleep-related self-efficacy in mothers only. Mothers in both treatment conditions improved their psychosocial health (e.g., depression, somatization, anxiety, aggression) and their ability to cope in some scales (increase: relaxation, trivialization; decrease: rumination) after treatment. For fathers, only a few changes were observed. The impaired sleep-related self-efficacy of both parents improved with treatment. Personal telephone support rarely affected the results.
Conclusion: Teaching parents to treat their child´s sleep problem can improve impairments in psychosocial health, coping, and self-efficacy predominantly in mothers.