This study examined predictors of TV use at bedtime and associations with toddlers’ sleep and behavior using data from the Smart Beginnings study with 403 Medicaid-eligible, racial/ethnic minority participants from two cities in the United States. We first estimated predictors of TV use at bedtime at 18 months. We then examined whether TV at bedtime was associated with concurrent parent-report of nighttime sleep duration and quality, and later problem behavior at 24 months. Results showed that around half of the sample reported using TV at bedtime with their toddlers, and particularly first-time mothers and those receiving public assistance. We also found that use of TV at bedtime was related to concurrent sleep issues and increases in later problem behavior. Mediational path analyses revealed that TV at bedtime affected behavior via sleep quality. Despite the heterogeneity within this Medicaid-eligible sample, the results underscore the universally harmful effects of TV use at bedtime and lend support for structuring nighttime routines for toddlers to promote better sleep and behavioral outcomes.
- Racial/ethnic minority
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology