Bed-Sharing With Children Not Linked to Cognitive Outcomes

No negative impact of mother-child bed-sharing on behavior and cognition at age 5 years

TUESDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be no negative association between mother-child bed-sharing between the ages of 1 and 3 years, and cognitive and behavioral outcomes at age 5 years, according to a study published online July 18 in Pediatrics.

R. Gabriela Barajas, from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues examined the predictors and consequences of mother-child bed-sharing at 1, 2, and 3 years of age using data from a racially/ethnically and geographically diverse sample of 944 low-income families across the United States. Children were evaluated at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years of age.

The investigators found that bed-sharing with children at ages 1, 2, and 3 years was more likely in families where the mothers were Hispanic or black. Bed-sharing was also predicted by maternal negative regard. A bivariate correlation was found between bed-sharing at ages 1 to 3 years and poorer behavior and cognition at 5 years of age. However, after controlling for child and maternal characteristics, the correlations were no longer significant.

"These findings suggest that the negative association between bed-sharing between the ages of 1 and 3 years and later behavioral and cognitive outcomes is likely not due to bed-sharing itself but rather to the sociodemographic characteristics of those who are more likely to bed-share," the authors write.

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