With our ethnically diverse longitudinal twin study, we aim to understand the genetic and environmental mechanisms by which the infant, toddler and childhood family sociocultural environments impact day-to-day associations between quality of sleep and health-related behaviors. Also, we elucidate mechanisms accounting for the longitudinal association between dynamic sleep processes and physical health and academic functioning in middle childhood. Without the use of a genetically-informed design, environmental causation cannot be inferred because quality of sleep is heritable, components of the family environment are also heritable through gene-environment correlation, and thus their covariation may be genetically or environmentally mediated. Salient aspects of the environment include a) family values and stressors (including culture-specific stressors), b) home stability and chaos and c) responsive and negative parenting. Specifically, under Aim 1 we model within person dynamic sleep and health behavioral processes in middle childhood, and the role of the sociocultural environment in moderating these processes.
Under Aim 2, we predict physical health and academic functioning from children's average and dynamic sleep and health behavioral processes two years earlier. We also examine the extent to which these dynamic processes mediate the associations between the sociocultural environment and later physical health and academic functioning.
With Aim 3, we use the twin method to document genetic and environmental contributions to multiple components of children's sleep, health and academic outcomes.
Under Aim 4, we use the twin method to determine the extent to which the measured sociocultural environment moderates the heritability of sleep and health behaviors. This study would be the first to use a genetically-informative dynamic daily approach to understand sociocultural environment-sleep relations. The proposed study forms a new collaboration of a young team of investigators with complementary expertise. The project is notable for its developmental cultural and genetic approach that uncovers gene-environment interplay, extensive assessment of the sociocultural environment during a sensitive period for brain development, establishment of a circadian rhythm, and formation of bedtime routines and habits. Under a resilience framework, we study protective as well as risk processes, as protective environments such as sensitive parenting and bedtime routines likely offset genetic or environmental risk for sleep problems. Combining these design features exponentially increases the scientific contribution by elucidating processes that support preventive intervention efforts.

Public Health Relevance

The public health relevance of this project lies in its comprehensive approach to studying the genetic and sociocultural causes and development of children's sleep habits and problems in an ethnically diverse sample. The results yield a better, genetically-informed understanding of day-to-day processes among sleep, physiological stress activity, and health-related behaviors, and identify dynamic processes that longitudinally predict health and academic functioning. The knowledge to be gained informs intervention and prevention through identification of modifiable aspects of the home context that impact children's sleep.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section (PDRP)
Program Officer
Lee, Karen
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Arizona State University-Tempe Campus
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Doane, Leah D; Sladek, Michael R; Breitenstein, Reagan S et al. (2018) Cultural neurobiology and the family: Evidence from the daily lives of Latino adolescents. Dev Psychopathol 30:1779-1796
Doane, Leah D; Breitenstein, Reagan S; Beekman, Charles et al. (2018) Early Life Socioeconomic Disparities in Children's Sleep: The Mediating Role of the Current Home Environment. J Youth Adolesc :
Van Hulle, Carol A; Lemery-Chalfant, Kathryn; Hill Goldsmith, H (2018) Parent-Offspring Transmission of Internalizing and Sensory over-Responsivity Symptoms in Adolescence. J Abnorm Child Psychol 46:557-567
Van Hulle, Carol A; Moore, Mollie N; Lemery-Chalfant, Kathryn et al. (2017) Infant stranger fear trajectories predict anxious behaviors and diurnal cortisol rhythm during childhood. Dev Psychopathol 29:1119-1130
Hilt, Lori M; Sladek, Michael R; Doane, Leah D et al. (2017) Daily and trait rumination: diurnal cortisol patterns in adolescent girls. Cogn Emot 31:1757-1767
Planalp, Elizabeth M; Van Hulle, Carol; Lemery-Chalfant, Kathryn et al. (2017) Genetic and environmental contributions to the development of positive affect in infancy. Emotion 17:412-420
Sladek, Michael R; Doane, Leah D; Stroud, Catherine B (2017) Individual and Day-to-Day Differences in Active Coping Predict Diurnal Cortisol Patterns among Early Adolescent Girls. J Youth Adolesc 46:121-135
Diaz, Anjolii; Berger, Rebecca; Valiente, Carlos et al. (2017) Children's Sleep and Academic Achievement: The Moderating Role of Effortful Control. Int J Behav Dev 41:275-284
Stroud, Catherine B; Chen, Frances R; Doane, Leah D et al. (2016) Individual differences in early adolescents' latent trait cortisol (LTC): Relation to recent acute and chronic stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology 70:38-46
Scott, Brandon G; Lemery-Chalfant, Kathryn; Clifford, Sierra et al. (2016) A Twin Factor Mixture Modeling Approach to Childhood Temperament: Differential Heritability. Child Dev 87:1940-1955

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