Beyond practices and values : toward a physio-bioecological analysis of sleeping arrangements in early infancy
Bornstein, Marc H.
Date of Issue2015
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Should my baby sleep in my bed? There are clear reasons to do so, such as for warmth, comfort, bonding, and cultural tradition, but there are also clear reasons against doing so, such as increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (Moon, 2011). Besides being a recurring practical question for parents, co-sleeping is a perennial academic issue as well. Hence, Shimizu et al.'s (2014) aim to examine “parenting practices and underlying cultural values of Japanese mothers” (p. 8) related to sleeping arrangements is timely and valuable. The authors predicted that mother-infant co-sleeping would decline from the 1960–1980s to 2008–2009 due to modern parents adhering to values that are more adaptive in an educated, urban, technologically and economically advanced society that has higher female participation in the workforce. However, they found equal prevalences for co-sleeping in Japan in the 1980s as compared to now. The authors suggested that this historical continuity is due to societal expectations which are in conflict with mothers' desire for gender egalitarianism. Here, we offer a complementary set of explanations as to why co-sleeping might be preserved among Japanese mothers over five decades of enormous social change, and we propose a direction where future studies on parent-child sleeping arrangements should go.
Frontiers in psychology
© 2015 The Authors(published by Frontiers). This paper was published in Frontiers in Psychology and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The Authors(published by Frontiers). The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00264]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.