School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Children's sleep and fathers' health and wellbeing: A systematic review
    Coles, L ; Thorpe, K ; Smith, S ; Hewitt, B ; Ruppanner, L ; Bayliss, O ; O'Flaherty, M ; Staton, S (W B SAUNDERS CO LTD, 2021-12-09)
    Night-waking is typical across infancy and early childhood, inevitably disrupting family sleep. For some children, sleep problems develop and endure throughout childhood. This systematic review focused on fathers, and synthesised the evidence pertaining to the effects of children's sleep (from birth to 12 years) on fathers' health and wellbeing. A total of 29 studies were included. Key outcomes reported for fathers were: sleep and fatigue; mental and general health; and family functioning. An association between child sleep and father's sleep was observed when child's sleep was measured via actigraphy or paternal report, but not when measured via maternal report, suggesting that mothers may not always be aware of disruptions that awaken fathers. Findings showed poorer child sleep was associated with poorer general health and wellbeing among fathers, however, associations of poor child sleep with depression were fewer, and less frequent than those reported for mothers in the same households. Poor child sleep was negatively associated with the quality of family relationships, both within the couple and between parent and child. Future studies seeking to understand the interplay of child sleep and family wellbeing should apply objective measurement of sleep and integrate formal measures of family dynamics into the study design.
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    P024 Children’s sleep and fathers’ health and wellbeing: a systematic review
    Coles, L ; Thorpe, K ; Smith, S ; Hewitt, B ; Ruppanner, L ; Bayliss, O ; O’Flaherty, M ; Staton, S (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-10-07)
    Abstract Introduction Night-waking is typical across infancy and early childhood. Although mothers are traditionally primary carers for children overnight, child sleep may impact others in the household, such as co-dwelling fathers. Despite expectations of more ‘hands on’ fathering, the relationship between children’s sleep and fathers’ health and wellbeing has not been previously synthesised. Methods This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement and registered with the Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO). Focusing on fathers, this review synthesised evidence pertaining to effects of children’s sleep (from birth to 12 years) on fathers’ health and wellbeing. Results From 4,421 records, 29 studies met inclusion criteria. Findings showed: (1) child sleep was associated with father’s sleep when child sleep was measured through father-report or objective measurement; (2) poorer child sleep was associated with poorer general health and wellbeing among fathers, however, associations of poor child sleep with depression were fewer; and (3) poor child sleep was negatively associated with quality of within-couple and parent-child relationships. Discussion Results suggested two principal issues: (1) Systematic variation in measures and findings underscores importance of objective measurement. Yoked actigraphy techniques are vital for understanding inter-relationships of family sleep and attendant outcomes. (2) Different patterns of child sleep and parent outcomes suggest direct and indirect pathways of effect. Understanding patterns of overnight caregiving, and factors underpinning parent decisions, are important for understanding mechanisms linking child sleep to fathers’ outcomes and for designing effective interventions to support parents.
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    Restless sleep and emotional wellbeing among European full-time dual-earner couples: gendered impacts of children and workplace demands
    Tan, X ; Ruppanner, L ; Hewitt, B ; Maume, D (Routledge, 2022)
    Role strain theory illuminates how work and family impinge on our intimate lives in gendered ways. Drawing upon data from the 2012 European Social Survey, we estimate structural equation models to understand the links between work and family conditions on full-time dual-earning couples’ restless sleep and emotional wellbeing. Our results show that young children (aged two or under) disrupt full-time working mothers’ but not full-time working fathers’ sleep, improving emotional wellbeing for fathers but not mothers. Compared to men, women report a significantly larger association between work hour dissatisfaction and restless sleep, probably highlighting the more time strain they experience due to their family responsibility on top of their full-time work. These gender gaps are the most pronounced among those couples working longest hours, suggesting that when inter-role strain intensifies for both partners, women suffer disproportionately. Collectively, our findings identify significant and gendered consequences of childcare and workplace demands and spotlight restless sleep as a key mechanism linking women’s role strain to poor emotional wellbeing.
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    Do managers sleep well? The role of gender, gender empowerment and economic development
    Tan, X ; Ruppanner, L ; Maume, D ; Hewitt, B ; Useche, SA (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2021-03-17)
    Work demands often disrupt sleep. The stress of higher status theory posits that workers with greater resources often experience greater stress. We extend this theory to sleep and ask: do managers report more disrupted sleep and does this vary by gender and country context? Data come from the 2012 European Social Survey Programme and our sample comprised those currently employed in their prime working age (n = 27,616; age 25-64) in 29 countries. We include country level measures of the Gender Development Index (GDI) and gross domestic product (GDP). We find that workers sleep better, regardless of gender, in countries where women are empowered. For managers, women sleep better as GDI increases and men as GDP increases. Our results suggest that men experience a sleep premium from economic development and women from gender empowerment.
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    Shifts in gender equality and suicide: A panel study of changes over time in 87 countries.
    Milner, A ; Scovelle, AJ ; Hewitt, B ; Maheen, H ; Ruppanner, L ; King, TL (Elsevier, 2020-11-01)
    BACKGROUND: Increasing gender equality remains an imperative for countries and organisations worldwide, and is associated with the improved life outcomes of men and women. Unlike many health and wellbeing indicators, death by suicide is more common among men, but suicidal behaviours are more common among women. Understanding of the relationship between gender equality and suicide is inchoate, and limited to cross-sectional work. We sought to address this gap by examining within-country changes in gender equality over time, in relation to suicide rates. METHODS: Data from 87 countries for the years 2006-2016 were used in this analysis. Gender Equality was measured using the Gender Gap Index (GGI), produced by the World Economic Forum. Male and female suicide rates came from the World Health Organization. Fixed and random-effects unbalanced panel regression models were used, adjusting for: GDP/capita; population; urban/rural ratio; number of children/person;% unemployed; year. Models were stratified by gender. RESULTS: Increasing within-country gender equality was associated with a significant reduction in suicide rates for women (Coef. -7.08, 95% CI -12.35 to -1.82, p = 0.009). For men, there was insufficient evidence that increasing within-country gender equality was associated with reduced within-country suicide rates (Coef. -5.76, 95% CI -19.40 to 7.86, p = 0.403). LIMITATIONS: The reporting and collection of suicide data is known to vary across countries. CONCLUSION: There is evidence that within-country increases in gender equality are associated with significant reductions in within-country suicide-rates for women. More research is needed to understand the drivers of these associations.