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Household Chaos, Hostile Parenting, and Adolescents’ Well-Being Two Years Later

Abstract

We assessed the relationship between household chaos at grade 10 and adolescent well-being (depression, problematic substance use, and physical health) two years later in a sample of rural youth living in economically-vulnerable communities. Also, we evaluated whether household chaos moderated the effect of hostile parenting on adolescent the mental, physical, and behavioral health. Adolescents (N = 238; M age = 15.59; 55% female) completed questionnaires at school in grade 10 and again two years later. Adolescents' perceptions of household chaos at grade 10 were associated with increased problematic substance use (B = .23, p < .05) and worse physical health (B = .17, p < .05) two years later. Household chaos moderated the effect of hostile parenting (B = .13, p < .05), such that the effect of hostile parenting on adolescents’ depression two years later was exacerbated in highly chaotic households. Reduction in household chaos through routine, stability and organization along with a focus on warm and supportive parenting are important for healthy adolescent mental, physical and behavioral health.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (#155797), the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (#79127), and the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. No form of payment was paid to any author to produce this manuscript. We thank Eleanor Jaffee and a group of graduate students for their assistance. We are grateful to the youth who participated in the project.

Author Contributions

C.J.T. conceptualized the manuscript, conducted the analyses and wrote the manuscript. E.H.S. wrote part of the Discussion. All authors designed and executed the study and collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

Funding

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (#155797), the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (#79127), and the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

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Correspondence to Corinna J. Tucker.

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All procedures performed in the current study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of New Hampshire IRB and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Tucker, C.J., Sharp, E.H., Van Gundy, K.T. et al. Household Chaos, Hostile Parenting, and Adolescents’ Well-Being Two Years Later. J Child Fam Stud 27, 3701–3708 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1198-x

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Keywords

  • Household chaos
  • Adolescents
  • Parenting
  • Rural
  • Well-being