Sleep is essential in nearly every domain, playing an important role for everything from the restoration and repair of our bodies to the maintenance and function of our brains. Sleep plays a particularly significant role during moments of transition and development. However, research on the developmental purpose of sleep and the consequences of its disruption has been limited to date. The current symposium explores how sleep may be influenced by predictors and risk factors that are salient to developmental stage. For example, sleep is influenced by family context during early childhood (Presentation 1), shifts in circadian functioning during adolescence (Presentation 2), hormone levels during the transition to fatherhood (Presentation 3), and maternal bedtime behaviors during infancy (Presentation 4). These associations are important to characterize because, as each talk demonstrates, disruptions in sleep throughout development may be related to fundamental tasks and milestones that mark each respective life stage: early childhood self-regulation, adolescent psychological adjustment, parental mental health, and infant attachment). These talks feature work from speakers from across the country and employ a rich variety of methodological approaches (event-related potentials, hormonal assays, actigraphy, ecological momentary assessments, self-reports, community intervention, naturalistic observations, and purposeful disruptions in sleep). While each presentation is unique in its approach and developmental population, they collectively demonstrate the far-reaching implications of sleep as a psychobiological construct, from birth to parenthood and then back to birth as the next generation of sleepers are raised.
Presentation 1: VARIABILITY OF SLEEP IN PRESCHOOLERS: IMPACTS OF SLEEP BEHAVIORS ON BRAIN PROCESSING AND BEHAVIORAL TASK PERFORMANCE, Victoria J. Molfese and Dennis L. Molfese ABSTRACT
Presentation 2: IS MODIFYING THE IMPACT OF EVENINGNESS CHRONOTYPE IN ADOLESCENCE A PATHWAY TO IMPROVED HEALTH? Lu Dong and Allison G. Harvey ABSTRACT
Presentation 3: POSTPARTUM DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS MEDIATE THE RELATION BETWEEN TESTOTSERONE AND SLEEP PROBLEMS IN NEW FATHERS, Diane Goldenberg, Hannah Lyden, Sarah Stoycos, Geoff Corner, Mona Khaled, Katelyn Horton, & Darby Saxbe ABSTRACT
Presentation 4: INFANT SLEEP, MOTHER’s BEDTIME BEHAVIOR, AND 12-MONTH INFANT ATTACHMENT: THE MODERATING ROLE OF INFANT SLEEP DURATION, Douglas M. Teti and Brian Crosby ABSTRACT