Examining the interactive association of family- and neighborhood-level socio-economic characteristics on children's sleep beyond the associations of residency and neighborhood violence

  • Katarina N.A. McKenzie
    Corresponding author: Katarina N.A. McKenzie, MSc, Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 3K7, Canada.
    Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
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  • Jinette Comeau
    Department of Sociology, King's University College at Western University, London, ON, Canada

    Division of Children's Health and Therapeutics, Children's Health Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, Western University, London, ON, Canada
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  • Graham J. Reid
    Department of Psychology, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

    Division of Children's Health and Therapeutics, Children's Health Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, Western University, London, ON, Canada

    Department of Family Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

    Department of Pediatrics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
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Published:August 01, 2022DOI:



      To examine the interactive association of neighborhood and family socio-economic characteristics (SEC) on children's sleep.


      Secondary data analyses were completed on the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study, a cross-sectional sample of 10,802 children aged 4-17.


      Children (aged 4-11, 50% male; N = 6264) with available sleep outcome data.


      Multilevel modeling was used to assess the interactive relationship between family- and neighborhood-level poverty in relation to child sleep outcomes (problems falling asleep, problems staying asleep, weekday and weekend time in bed), above the associations of variables known to be related to sleep at the child (ie, child age, sex, internalizing problems, externalizing problems, chronic illness), family (ie, negative parenting behaviors, family structure, parent mental health, years lived in neighborhood, parent education level), and neighborhood levels (ie, neighborhood size, antisocial behavior).


      Neighborhood poverty (p < .01, ß = -0.001, 95% confidence interval [-0.007, -0.002]) was significantly related to shorter weekday time in bed and the interactive association of family and neighborhood poverty was significantly related to weekend time in bed (p < .05, ß = 0.012, 95% confidence interval [0.004, 0.021]). Children living in low poverty neighborhoods with families of higher SEC backgrounds, and children living in high poverty neighborhoods with families of lower SEC backgrounds had the shortest weekend time in bed (9.7 hours).


      There is a compound relationship of family and neighborhood poverty on children's sleep above and beyond family- and child-level risk factors.


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