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Volume 09 No. 11
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Accepted Papers

Scientific Investigations

The Parent-Child Sleep Interactions Scale (PSIS) for Preschoolers: Factor Structure and Initial Psychometric Properties

Candice A. Alfano, Ph.D.1; Victoria C. Smith, M.S.2; Katharine C. Reynolds, B.A.1; Radhika Reddy, M.A.1; Lea R. Dougherty, Ph.D.2
1Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX; 2Department of Psychology, University of Maryland–College Park, College Park, MD

Study Objectives:

Given the high prevalence of sleep problems in early childhood and the significant impact of parenting on children's sleep, the current study aimed to determine the factor structure and psychometric properties of a new measure for assessing sleep-related parenting behaviors and interactions among preschool-aged children—The Parent-Child Sleep Interactions Scale (PSIS).


Data was collected among parents of 209 preschool-aged children in two diverse metropolitan areas. All parents completed demographic questionnaires, the Parent-Child Sleep Interaction Scale (PSIS), and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). A subset of parents completed structured interviews using the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA). Following data reduction procedures, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using principal axis extraction and oblique rotation was conducted, and internal consistency was assessed. Associations between PSIS scores and sleep problems based on the CBCL and PAPA as well as child sleep problems during infancy were examined. Differences based on demographic variables including race/ethnicity were also investigated.


EFA revealed a three-factor solution explaining 60% of the variance in total PSIS scores. Individual factors based on 12 items were labeled Sleep Reinforcement, Sleep Conflict, and Sleep Dependence. Internal consistency for all subscales and total PSIS scores was acceptable. PSIS subscales were positively correlated with both CBCL and PAPA Sleep Problems. Sleep problems during the first year of life were associated with Sleep Conflict and total PSIS scores. Significant differences in PSIS scores based on race/ ethnicity were found.


The PSIS shows promise as a valid measure of sleep-related parent/child behaviors and interactions among preschoolers.


Alfano CA; Smith VC; Reynolds KC; Reddy R; Dougherty LR. The Parent-Child Sleep Interactions Scale (PSIS) for preschoolers: factor structure and initial psychometric properties. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(11):1153-1160.

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