The mediating role of parenting in the associations between household chaos and children’s representations of family dysfunction

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Roger Mills-Koonce, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Children’s drawings are thought to reflect their mental representations of self and their interpersonal relations within families. Household chaos is believed to disrupt key proximal processes related to optimal development. The present study examines the mediating role of parenting behaviors in the relations between two measures of household chaos, instability and disorganization, and how they may be evidenced in children’s representations of family dysfunction as derived from their drawings. The sample (N = 962) is from a longitudinal study of rural poverty exploring the ways in which child, family, and contextual factors shape development over time. Findings reveal that, after controlling for numerous factors including child and primary caregiver covariates, there were significant indirect effects from cumulative family disorganization, but not cumulative family instability, on children’s representation of family dysfunction through parenting behaviors. Results suggest that the proximal effects of daily disorganization outweigh the effects of periodic instability overtime.

Additional Information

Attachment & Human Development, 16(6), 633-655
Language: English
Date: 2014
household chaos, children’s representations, parenting, family dysfunction, poverty

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