Add one more problem to the long list of childhood issues that can be caused by a hostile home environment. A recent study published in the Journal of Child Development says that feuding parents can cause their babies to lose sleep. In order to come to this conclusion the researchers from Pennsylvania State University studied adopted babies from ages 9 months to 18 months. The researchers chose to use adopted children as their focus so that they would be able to play special attention to environmental factors and disprove and genetic reasoning for the sleep problems.
Sets of 357 adoptive parents were interviewed twice during this process, once when their baby was 9 months old, and then again when their baby was 18 months old. The interview questions focused on the marital relationship rather than parenting styles and child-parent relationships. In the end it was found that those couples who were having serious marital issues or considering divorce had children with sleep problems. In addition the research showed problems with sleep among the children as a progressive happening. In other words, marital problems in the first 9 months of the baby’s life predicted that a child would be more prone to sleep problems at 18 months