The Moderating Role of Parents' Dysfunctional Sleep-Related Beliefs Among Associations Between Adolescents' Pre-Bedtime Conflict, Sleep Quality, and Their Mental Health


Psychological Sciences

Document Type


Publication Source

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 265-274.

Publication Date



Study Objectives: The current study's aim was to examine the indirect effect of parent-child pre-bedtime arguing about the bedtime process on adolescents' symptoms of anxiety and depression via the mediating role of adolescents' sleep quality. In addition, this study sought to test this mediation model across different levels of both parents' and children's dysfunctional sleep-related beliefs (ie, moderated mediation).

Methods: A total of 193 adolescent (mean age = 15.7 years, standard deviation [SD] = .94; 54.4% female) and parent dyads completed both baseline, online surveys, and online 7-day, twice-daily sleep diaries. Parents (mean age = 47.6 years, SD = 5.4; 80% female) reported daily for 7 days on the intensity of any conflict regarding the adolescents' bedtime process, and adolescents completed daily reports of their sleep duration and quality (morning diary) and their anxiety and depressive symptoms (evening diary).

Results: Results suggested that adolescent sleep quality mediated the indirect association between parent-child pre-bedtime arguing and adolescents' anxiety and depressive symptoms. Furthermore, this mediation model was moderated by parents' dysfunctional sleep-related beliefs. Only in families with parents reporting either average or above-average (+1 SD) levels of dysfunctional beliefs did this mediation model emerge as significant.

Conclusions: Results provide further evidence for the essential role of the family environment in adolescent sleep and well-being, and they suggest that parents' dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions put adolescents at risk for a negative cascade stemming from arguing over bedtime to poor-quality sleep and its negative consequences on their mental health.


adolescence, dysfunctional sleep-related beliefs, family, mental health, sleep