Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Psychology

Supervisor

Graham J. Reid

Abstract

Pediatric insomnia affects approximately 25% of children and can impact both child and parent functioning. Despite its prevalence and impact, next-to-nothing is known about help-seeking mechanism for pediatric insomnia. These mechanisms are expected to mirror models from the children’s mental health help-seeking literature. Both studies in this thesis gathered data from an online multinational project. Manuscript 1 investigated the informal, informational, and formal sources of help for pediatric insomnia and the factors that motivated parents to seek professional help. Parents utilized or expected to utilize a variety of informal (most commonly their partner, friends, or family members) and informational (most commonly the internet and books) help sources. Further, parents were most likely to begin formal help seeking with a primary care provider. Most parents reported child behavioural problems and the impact on their own daytime functioning as the main reason for seeking help. Manuscript 2 identified (1) predictors of problem perception and help seeking, (2) reasons why parents did not seek help, and (3) factors that differentiated parents who did and did not seek help. Sleep problem severity and child mental health problems were significant predictors of parents perceiving pediatric insomnia; whereas parental mental health problems were a significant predictor of seeking professional help. Parents who perceived a moderate-to-severe sleep problem were most often impeded from help-seeking by logistic barriers (e.g., treatment too expensive). Help-seeking and non-help-seeking parents were differentiated by sleep problem severity, and child and parent mental health problems. The results of this thesis can be used to inform the design and applicability of interventions for pediatric insomnia and in the design of a model of care for pediatric insomnia.


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