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Child Development

Arguing parents could harm children's sleep patterns

Parents who row could affect the sleeping patterns of their infants for significant periods of time, new research has suggested.

PARENTS THAT ARGUE could be having a negative effect on their children’s sleeping patterns, new research has suggested.

A study by researchers in the UK and US found that infants whose sleep was disrupted by parents rowing when they were aged nine months still displayed disturbed sleep patterns at 18 months, the Press Association reports.

The study examined the sleeping patterns of 300 infants at both ages. All of the babies had been adopted at birth, as researchers wanted to eliminate the possibility of genetic factors having an influence, reports the Irish Times.

Professor Gordon Harold from the University of Leicester’s psychology department said: “Regulated sleep is essential during infancy for healthy brain and physical development. Disrupted sleep patterns early in life have serious implications
for children’s long-term development.”

He added:  “How couples or parents relate to each other, specifically how they manage conflicts in their everyday lives, is also recognised as having significant implications for children’s long-term emotional, behavioural and academic development.”

The study was published in the journal Child Development.