Previous studies have suggested that parental cognitions about child’s sleep may be an important factor underlying pediatric sleep problems. The current study aimed to (a) develop an assessment tool measuring parental understanding and misperceptions about baby’s sleep (PUMBA-Q); (b) validate the questionnaire using self-report and objective sleep measures.
There were 1,420 English-speaking caregivers (68.0% mothers, 46.8% of children being females, mean age 12.3 months), who has completed online self-reported questionnaires. The PUMBA-Q, which was developed for this study, Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep (DBAS) and Maternal Cognitions about Infant Sleep Questionnaire (MCISQ) were included to evaluate participant’s thoughts on their own or child’s sleep. Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) was collected to access participant’s subjective insomnia severity. Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire-Revised (BISQ-R) was used to assess parental-reported child sleep. Auto-videosomnography was used to record child’s sleep.
Exploratory factor analysis indicated the best fit with a 4-factor model using 23 items (RMSEA = .039). The four subscales were labeled: (a) Misperceptions about parental intervention; (b) Misperceptions about feeding; (c) Misperceptions about child’s sleep; and (d) General anxiety of parents. Internal consistency was adequate (Cronbach’s alpha = .86). PUMBA-Q scores were significantly associated with MCISQ (r = .64, p < .01), DBAS (r = .36, p < .01), ISI (r = .29, p < .01), BISQ-R (r = .-49, p < .01), objective child’s total sleep time (r = −.24, p < .01) and objective number of parental nighttime visits (r = .26, p < .01).
The results demonstrated that PUMBA-Q 23 is a valid assessment tool for parental cognitions of child sleep. The link between parental cognitions and child sleep highlights the importance of managing parental cognitions about child sleep when treating pediatric sleep problems.