Adverse and Benevolent Childhood Experiences Predict Prenatal Sleep Quality

Melissa Nevarez-Brewster, Özlü Aran, Angela J. Narayan, Kylie K. Harrall, Samantha M. Brown, Benjamin L. Hankin, Elysia Poggi Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of the study was to investigate whether adverse and benevolent childhood experiences were associated with trajectories of sleep quality throughout pregnancy. The study was conducted at obstetrics and gynecology clinics in the Rocky Mountain region of the USA. The participants of the study were pregnant individuals (N = 164). Sleep quality was measured with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index at three gestational time points, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and benevolent childhood experiences (BCEs) were assessed once. Multilevel models were conducted to examine the trajectory of sleep quality across gestation in relation to ACEs and BCEs. Sleep quality was similar in early to mid-pregnancy, with a worsening of sleep quality late in pregnancy, following a quadratic trajectory. Higher levels of ACEs predicted poorer prenatal sleep quality (b = 0.36, SE = 0.13, p =.004) throughout pregnancy, while higher levels of BCEs predicted better sleep quality (b = − 0.60, SE = 0.17, p <.001) throughout pregnancy. Examination of ACEs subtypes revealed that childhood maltreatment predicted poor sleep quality (b = 0.66, SE = 0.18, p <.001), while childhood household dysfunction was not significantly associated (b = 0.33, SE = 0.21, p =.11). Associations remained after covarying for socioeconomic status and current stressful life events. Both adverse and benevolent childhood experiences predict sleep health during pregnancy. Prevention and intervention strategies targeting resilience and sleep quality during pregnancy should be implemented to promote prenatal health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
JournalAdversity and Resilience Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Benevolent childhood experiences
  • Pregnancy
  • Resilience
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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