Chaotic Home Conditions and Children’s Adjustment: Study of Gender Differences

Article Title: Chaotic Home Conditions and Children’s Adjustment: Study of Gender Differences

Author(s): Syeda Shamama-tus-Sabah, Nighat Gilani, Anila Kamal, and Sadia Batool

Institute(s): National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; Department of Economics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2012, Vol. 27, No. 2, 297-313

Correspondence Address: Syeda Shamamtus- Sahah, Government Degree College for Women, Taxila, Rawalpindi. E-mail:


Previous research evidence has shown strong associations between household chaos and children’s behavioral and adjustment problems. However, the findings regarding gender differences in sensitivity to chaos are inconsistent. Therefore, the aim of the study was to study the gender differences in sensitivity to chaotic environment. Sample consisted of 150 primary school children (8-11 years) including 60 boys and 90 girls and their mothers. Data was collected form Rawalpindi (n = 101) and Lahore (n = 49). To measure home chaos Urdu translated version (Shamama-tos-Sabah & Gilani, 2008) of Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale-CHAOS (Matheny, Wachs, Ludwig, & Phillips, 1995) was used. To assess adjustment problems among children, teacher and parent rating scales of Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2 (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004) were administered. Children’s scores on aggression and depression subscales were taken as indicators of their adjus1ment. Two-way ANOV A was run to assess adjus1ment problems among children from high and low chaotic families and to explore gender differences in reactivity to home chaos among children. Results indicated significant main effect of home chaos for adjus1ment problems among children. However, the interaction effect of gender and chaos were found to be nonsignificant showing that impact of chaos was same for both boys and girls.

Keywords: home chaos, gender differences, reactivity to chaos, primary school children, aggression, depression

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