Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Pediatric Psychology 39:6 (2014), pp. 624–632; doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsu020


Copyright © 2014 Timothy D. Nelson, Alyssa Lundahl, Dennis L. Molfese, Rachel N. Waford, Adrienne Roman, David Gozal, Victoria J. Molfese, and Melissa C. Ferguson. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. Used by permission.


Objective To develop and evaluate adjustment factors to convert parent-reported time in bed to an estimate of child sleep time consistent with objective measurement. Methods A community sample of 217 children aged 4–9 years (mean age = 6.6 years) wore actigraph wristwatches to objectively measure sleep for 7 days while parents completed reports of child sleep each night. After examining the moderators of the discrepancy between parent reports and actigraphy, 3 adjustment factors were evaluated. Results Parent report of child sleep overestimated nightly sleep duration by ~24 min per night relative to actigraphy. Child age, gender, and sleep quality all had small or nonsignificant associations with correspondence between parent report and actigraph. Empirically derived adjustment factors significantly reduced the discrepancy between parent report and objective measurement. Conclusions Simple adjustment factors can enhance the correspondence and utility of parent reports of child sleep duration for clinical and research purposes.