Sleeping patterns in upper-middle-class families when the child awakens ill or frightened

A A Rosenfeld, A O Wenegrat, D K Haavik, B G Wenegrat, C R Smith
Archives of General Psychiatry 1982, 39 (8): 943-7
Prior research on whether parents and children ever share a bed is scanty. Some experts have written that if parents take their frightened child into bed with them, there will be "devil to pay." Using a questionnaire, we surveyed 415 upper-middle-class parents of 576 children. We asked if, when their child awoke ill or frightened, they took the child into their bed. They commonly did. We question whether explanations that ascribe the cause of psychopathologic disorders to specific events may not be too simplistic. To date, too much attention may have been paid to the events, such as parents and children sharing a bed, are not enough has been devoted to the context, motivation, and setting in which these events occur.

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