AIM: To explore whether primary school children of migrant and native Dutch origins differ regarding their sleep duration per night, a risk for overweight and obesity, and to determine to what degree differences in parenting styles contribute to these differences.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional survey, including 1,943 children aged 8-9 years old and their primary caregivers, was performed. Data were collected from primary schools in cities and adjacent municipalities in The Netherlands: Eindhoven and Rotterdam. The outcome measure was mean sleep duration per night. The main independent variable was migrant background, based on the country of birth of the parents. A possible mediating variable was parenting style (rejecting, neglecting, permissive, authoritarian, authoritative). Age and sex of the child as well as parental socioeconomic status, as indicated by educational level, were added as confounders.
RESULTS: Dutch children have the highest sleep duration: more than 11 h (mean = 670.1; SD = 27.7). All migrant children show less than 11 h of sleep per night. Migrant children of non-Western origin, especially Turkish and Moroccan children, show the lowest sleep duration per night. Parenting styles do not contribute to these differences.
CONCLUSION: Migrant background is associated with sleep duration. As children of migrant origin are, in general, at higher risk for overweight and obesity and sleep duration is regarded as a risk factor for overweight and obesity, further investigation of this association is needed.