Ignoring children's bedtime crying : The power of western-oriented beliefs
Ignoring children's bedtime crying (ICBC) is an issue that polarizes parents as well as pediatricians. While most studies have focused on the effectiveness of sleep interventions, no study has yet questioned which parents use ICBC. Parents often find children's sleep difficulties to be very challenging, but factors such as the influence of Western approaches to infant care, stress, and sensitivity have not been analyzed in terms of ICBC. A sample of 586 parents completed a questionnaire to investigate the relationships between parental factors and the method of ICBC. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Latent variables were used to measure parental stress (Parental Stress Scale; J.O. Berry & W.H. Jones, 1995), sensitivity (Situation-Reaction-Questionnaire; Y. Hänggi, K. Schweinberger, N. Gugger, & M. Perrez, 2010), Western-oriented parental beliefs (Rigidity), and children's temperament (Parenting Stress Index; H. Tröster & R.R. Abidin). ICBC was used by 32.6% (n = 191) of parents in this study. Parents’ Western-oriented beliefs predicted ICBC. Attitudes such as feeding a child on a time schedule and not carrying it out to prevent dependence were associated with letting the child cry to fall asleep. Low-sensitivity parents as well as parents of children with a difficult temperament used ICBC more frequently. Path analysis shows that parental stress did not predict ICBC. The results suggest that ICBC has become part of Western childrearing tradition.