The impact of sleep deprivation on emotion recognition in new parents

Parsons, Leo Stuart (2022). The impact of sleep deprivation on emotion recognition in new parents. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

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This volume consists of two papers: a meta-analysis and an empirical study. It also contains a public dissemination document providing a summary of both papers. The aim of the research papers was to address existing gaps in the literature related to the experience of sleep and sleep loss in new parents and, its potential impact on social and emotional abilities.
The meta-analysis found that new parents experience an increase in time spent awake during the night following the initial sleep onset. It also identified that total sleep time and sleep efficiency decrease following the birth of a child. Most notably, this change is much more significant in the first four weeks after birth and does not return to pre-birth levels even 16 weeks after birth. Cultural differences were also found in these parameters. The meta-analysis also identified variation in the methodological quality of papers, particularly, the way actigraphy is used to measure sleep.
The empirical study used a between participants design to measure sleep and emotion recognition in new parents. Although underpowered, the pilot study did identify similar patterns of sleep loss to the meta-analysis with new parents experiencing higher levels of wake after sleep onset and lower sleep efficiency. No differences were found in parents’ ability to recognise emotions in infants. This study demonstrates that research of this type is feasible with this population and offers some recommendations for future research in this area.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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