Household chaos: a risk factor for adverse child outcomes gains attention in public health
BMC Public Health
Household chaos, characterized by high levels of confusion, disorganization and hurriedness in the home, is increasingly recognized as an important risk factor for adverse child outcomes. Early research on household chaos and child well-being was largely within the field of developmental psychology, where greater levels of household chaos has been associated with greater behavioral, attention and learning problems in young children. The potential influence of household chaos on child health
... on child health behaviors is more recently gaining attention within public health. A recent study by Marsh et al., entitled, the Relationship between Household Chaos and Child, Parent, and Family Outcomes: A Systematic Scoping Review, presents the findings from 112 studies that assessed the influence of household chaos on a wide range of child outcomes. Findings highlight the various adverse child health outcomes across multiple domains that may be negatively affected by greater levels of household chaos including a few that reflect child health behaviors such as sleep, diet and weight gain. The review additionally presents findings from mediation and moderation analyses. This commentary highlights key aspects of the Marsh et al. review and outlines the implications of the work within health behavior research. This commentary further identifies child screen media use as a critically understudied area when considering the interplay between household chaos and child well-being.