Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Science




Reid, Graham J.


There is little research on the effects of neighbourhood factors on child sleep outcomes. No study to date has investigated the interactive effects of neighbourhood and family socio-economic characteristics (SECs) on child sleep outcomes. This study aimed to fill this gap. Secondary data analyses were completed on two samples (children and youth) from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study, a cross-sectional, province-wide sample of 10,802 children aged 4 to 17. Multi-level modeling was used to assess the relationship between child- (e.g., age), family- (e.g., negative parenting) and neighbourhood-level factors and their relationship to sleep outcome variables: problems falling asleep, problems staying asleep, weekday sleep duration and weekend sleep duration. The interactive effects of family and neighbourhood poverty significantly predicted one sleep outcome variable (child weekend sleep duration) in the current study. Different levels of SECs may interact to influence child sleep and relate to sleep outcomes differentially across development.

Summary for Lay Audience

Sleep problems in childhood are related to a variety of negative outcomes such as behavioural problems, poor school performance and poor physical and mental health. A number of child (e.g., age, mental health problems) and family (e.g., parenting, single-parent status) influences have been found to be important to child sleep problems. Recently, researchers have found a relationship between the make-up of a neighbourhood (e.g., poverty levels) and child sleep problems. No study to date has looked at how family and neighbourhood poverty interact with each other to influence aspects of child sleep (e.g., problems falling asleep, problems staying asleep, weekday sleep duration, weekend sleep duration). Information on sleep and neighbourhood features was collected on a representative group of children and adolescents from Ontario. We found that children in high poverty neighbourhoods with family poverty, and children in low poverty neighbourhoods with no family poverty had the lowest weekend sleep durations. We did not find this relationship for adolescent sleep problems or sleep durations. We also found that children living in neighbourhoods with break-ins and assault were related to more problems falling asleep. This research gives us important information into how neighbourhood features relate to sleep health. Overall, neighbourhood factors may relate differentially to aspects of child sleep and may relate to sleep problems in a different way from childhood to adolescence. Neighbourhood features may be related to important differences in sleep health for children with family poverty also living in high poverty neighbourhoods.