Children are a product of their environments. Just as children who are brought up in loving, supportive, and caring environments are more likely to behavior that way as adults, children who are brought up in fear, anger, and hostility have a higher chance of experiencing similar environments in adulthood. But does this same theory apply to acoustic and physical chaos? Syeda Shamama-tus-Sabah of the National Institute of Psychology at Quaid-i-Aaam University in Pakistan wanted to explore this question. In a recent study, Shamama-tus-Sabah reviewed parent and teacher reports on 150 elementary school children. The children ranged in age from 8 to 11 years old and were all living with educated mothers. The children were assessed for depression and aggression to measure adjustment.
Shamama-tus-Sabah found a direct link between chaos and adjustment. “The results indicate that children from high chaotic families exhibit more aggression and depressive symptoms as compared to children from low chaotic families as reported by their parents and teachers,” said Shamama-tus-Sabah. This finding suggests that children who are not living in structure and routine may be more likely to struggle with behavior problems. This can lead to risk taking, including alcohol and drug use, tobacco initiation, and even sexually risky behavior. When Shamama-tus-Sabah looked at gender as a contributing factor, she found no difference in the chaos-adjustment relationship for girls and boys.
Some research has suggested that boys are more sensitive to chaotic environments, and therefore have higher levels of maladjustment than girls from similar environments. This research provided no support for that theory, but future research might explore that more in order to see if other types of maladjustment, aside from depression and aggression, manifest in boys more than girls. In western cultures, chaotic homes are not uncommon. However, in Pakistan, the increase in chaotic home lives, with more parents working and cities becoming overcrowded, could increase the risk for maladjustment in the youth population. In order to get a broader picture of the effects of chaos, future work should examine the gender aspect more thoroughly and should include parents of varying degrees of education and socioeconomic status.
Shamama-tus-Sabah, Syeda, et al. (2013). Chaotic home conditions and children’s adjustment: Study of gender differences. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research 27.2 (2012): 297-313. ProQuest. Web.
© Copyright 2013 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.