Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology


Joan Lucariello

Committee Members

Bruce Homer

Alpana Bhattacharya

Elizabeth Hayward

Elizabeth Cardoso

Subject Categories

Early Childhood Education | Educational Psychology


children’s sleep, educational intervention, caregiver knowledge and beliefs


Sleep is crucial for optimal development, health, and growth in children. However, current research indicates that children are not receiving adequate sleep and lack of sleep can lead to physical, cognitive, and behavioral problems (i.e., Mindell & Owens. 2003). In addition, improper sleep can have a negative impact on learning (Dewald et al., 2010). One route for children to achieve better sleep is to enhance caregiver knowledge about child sleep (Jan et al., 2008). Prior research on this topic has shown that, although caregiver knowledge can be increased through an intervention, often this knowledge increase is not maintained, nor does it seem to have an effect on actual sleep behavior of children (McDowell et al., 2017). Prior research, however, has not been conducted with a sample of middle-income, typically developing, preschool children. The current study implemented an intervention with such a sample to compare the effects of two different forms of caregiver education programs (“brochure only” and “brochure and email follow-up”) on caregiver sleep knowledge and beliefs and child sleep. A control group was used to compare effects of the intervention. Sixty-two participants comprised the three groups. Participants’ knowledge and beliefs on child sleep were assessed through a pretest and an immediate (given one-week post pretest) and a delayed posttest (given one-month post intervention). Child sleep duration was measured through a sleep diary before and after the intervention. Results indicated no significant increase in caregiver knowledge on the immediate posttest, in the intervention groups when compared to the control group. However, there was a significant gain in knowledge on the delayed posttest for the “brochure only” intervention group when compared to the control group. No significant changes were seen in caregiver beliefs. Additionally, there was no significant change in child sleep duration. The study’s implications and limitations are discussed.