Effects of a workplace intervention on sleep in employees' children

Susan M. McHale, Katie M. Lawson, Kelly D. Davis, Lynne Casper, Erin L. Kelly, Orfeu Buxton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose The implications of sleep patterns for adolescent health are well established, but we know less about larger contextual influences on youth sleep. We focused on parents' workplace experiences as extrafamilial forces that may affect youth sleep. Methods In a group-randomized trial focused on employee work groups in the information technology division of a Fortune 500 company, we tested whether a workplace intervention improved sleep latency, duration, night-to-night variability in duration, and quality of sleep of employees' offspring, aged 9-17 years. The intervention was aimed at promoting employees' schedule control and supervisor support for personal and family life to decrease employees' work-family conflict and thereby promote the health of employees, their families, and the work organization. Analyses focused on 93 parent-adolescent dyads (57 dyads in the intervention and 46 in the comparison group) that completed baseline and 12-month follow-up home interviews and a series of telephone diary interviews that were conducted on eight consecutive evenings at each wave. Results Intent-to-treat analyses of the diary interview data revealed main effects of the intervention on youth's sleep latency, night-to-night variability in sleep duration, and sleep quality, but not sleep duration. Conclusions The intervention focused on parents' work conditions, not on their parenting or parent-child relationships, attesting to the role of larger contextual influences on youth sleep and the importance of parents' work experiences in the health of their children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-677
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflicts of Interest: Buxton reports no direct conflicts of interest but in the interest of full disclosure, reports (last 3 yrs) investigator-initiated research grant support from Sepracor (now Sunovion, ESRC-0997); and consulting fees from Dinsmore LLC (expert witness testimony) and Matsutani America (scientific advisory board) outside of the submitted work. All other authors have no conflicts of interest or disclosures to report. This work was produced without commercial financial support, and does not involve off-label or investigational use.

Funding Information:
This research was conducted as part of the Work, Family and Health Network ( www.WorkFamilyHealthNetwork.org ), which was funded by a cooperative agreement through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (grants U01HD051217 , U01HD051218 , U01HD051256 , U01HD051276 ), National Institute on Aging (grant U01AG027669 ), Office of Behavioral and Science Sciences Research , and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (grant U01OH008788 , U01HD059773 ). Grants from the William T. Grant Foundation (#9844), Alfred P. Sloan Foundation , and the Administration for Children and Families have provided additional funding.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.


  • Adolescent sleep
  • Contextual influences on sleep
  • Intervention
  • Parental employment
  • Workplace


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