Child Routines Moderate Daily Hassles and Children's Psychological Adjustment

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [The Aga Khan University]On: 22 October 2014, At: 06:46Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK</p><p>Children's Health CarePublication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/hchc20</p><p>Child Routines ModerateDaily Hassles and Children'sPsychological AdjustmentAlexis Bridley a &amp; Sara Sytsma Jordan aa Department of Psychology , University of SouthernMississippi , Hattiesburg , MSAccepted author version posted online: 31 Jan2012.Published online: 16 May 2012.</p><p>To cite this article: Alexis Bridley &amp; Sara Sytsma Jordan (2012) Child RoutinesModerate Daily Hassles and Children's Psychological Adjustment, Children's HealthCare, 41:2, 129-144, DOI: 10.1080/02739615.2012.657040</p><p>To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02739615.2012.657040</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all theinformation (the Content) contained in the publications on our platform.However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness,or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and viewsexpressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, andare not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of theContent should not be relied upon and should be independently verified withprimary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for anylosses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages,and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of theContent.</p><p>http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/hchc20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/02739615.2012.657040http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02739615.2012.657040</p></li><li><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan,sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone isexpressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found athttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Aga</p><p> Kha</p><p>n U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 06:</p><p>46 2</p><p>2 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p><p>http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p></li><li><p>Childrens Health Care, 41:129144, 2012</p><p>Copyright Taylor &amp; Francis Group, LLC</p><p>ISSN: 0273-9615 print/1532-6888 online</p><p>DOI: 10.1080/02739615.2012.657040</p><p>Child Routines Moderate Daily Hasslesand Childrens Psychological</p><p>Adjustment</p><p>Alexis Bridley and Sara Sytsma JordanDepartment of Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi,</p><p>Hattiesburg, MS</p><p>This study examined child routines as a moderator of the relation between chil-</p><p>drens daily hassles and internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. School</p><p>and community children .n D 131/ ages 8 through 12 reported on daily hassles,</p><p>and their primary caregivers reported on child routines and behavior problems.</p><p>Moderated multiple regression indicated significant main effects for child routines.</p><p>A significant interaction was found between childrens daily hassles and child</p><p>routines for the internalizing model, but not for the externalizing model. Children</p><p>reporting more daily hassles had fewer internalizing behaviors when they also had</p><p>more frequent child routines.</p><p>The National Institutes of Mental Health (2011) reported that an estimated5% of American childrenor approximately 2.7 million childrensuffer from</p><p>severe emotional or behavioral problems. One of many reported predecessors</p><p>of childrens internalizing and externalizing behavior problems is stress (Thoits,</p><p>1995). The majority of research on the relation between stressors and psycho-</p><p>logical functioning has evaluated stress via major life events, such as divorce,death in the family, job loss, and so forth; however, more recently, literature</p><p>supporting the impact of small, but chronic stressors, such as daily hassles,</p><p>has also provided evidence that these lesser stressors may also play a role in</p><p>development of childrens behavioral and emotional problems. The aim of this</p><p>Correspondence should be addressed to Alexis Bridley, Department of Psychology, University</p><p>of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Dr., 5025, Hattiesburg, MS 39404. E-mail: alexis.bridley@</p><p>gmail.com</p><p>129</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Aga</p><p> Kha</p><p>n U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 06:</p><p>46 2</p><p>2 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>130 BRIDLEY AND JORDAN</p><p>study was to further evaluate the relation between daily hassles and childrens</p><p>emotional/behavioral problems by exploring a potential protective factor (child</p><p>routines) against childrens internalizing and externalizing behavior problems.Daily hassles have been defined as experiences and conditions of daily living</p><p>that have been appraised as salient and harmful or threatening to the endorsers</p><p>well-being (Lazarus &amp; Folkman, 1984, p. 376). More specifically, daily hassles</p><p>are irritating, frustrating, distressing demands that to some degree characterize</p><p>everyday transactions with the environment (Kanner, Feldman, Weinberger, &amp;Ford, 1987, p. 3). It is theorized that similar to major life events, these minute,</p><p>yet irritating, situations build on one another and contribute to emotional and</p><p>behavioral impairment in adults and children.</p><p>Several studies have supported daily hassles as more powerful assessments of</p><p>stress than major life events in children and adults when predicting psychological</p><p>symptoms and dysfunctions (Burks &amp; Martin, 1985; Chamberlain &amp; Zika, 1990).Daily hassles have been identified as a significant predictor of psychological</p><p>well-being and distress for mothers of young children (Chamberlain &amp; Zika,</p><p>1990). Although only a few studies, to date, have examined the impact of daily</p><p>hassles on childrens psychological adjustment, studies evaluating the larger</p><p>construct of stress have provided consistent evidence that children exposedto frequent stressors are at greater risk for both internalizing and externalizing</p><p>behavior problems (Creasey, Mitts, &amp; Catanzaro, 1995; Kliewer &amp; Kung, 1998;</p><p>Lazarus &amp; Folkman, 1984).</p><p>In the pediatric literature, daily stressors have also been implicated as a</p><p>contributing factor in the exacerbation of a number of pediatric chronic illnesses.More specifically, stress significantly predicts an increase in frequency and</p><p>intensity of pain episodes in both pediatric rheumatic disease and pediatric</p><p>sickle cell disease (Stone, Broderick, Porter, &amp; Kaell, 1997; von Weiss et al.,</p><p>2002). Stress also predicts fatigue and stiffness in pediatric rheumatic patients</p><p>(Schanberg et al., 2000). Similar to the adult literature, daily stress is also</p><p>related to an increase in somatic complaints, especially in children with recurrentabdominal pain (Walker, Garber, Smith, Van Slyke, &amp; Clarr, 2001). As evident</p><p>from both the child clinical and pediatric literatures, stress can greatly impact a</p><p>childs emotional, behavioral, and physical well-being. Therefore, it is important</p><p>that childrens stress and factors that mitigate stress continue to be explored.</p><p>Although children exposed to a variety of stressful situations are at riskfor developing psychological problems, not all do. Researchers have identified</p><p>several social and family factors that may protect against the deleterious impact</p><p>of daily hassles on childrens psychological adjustment (Kliewer &amp; Kung, 1998;</p><p>Von Weiss et al., 2002). For example, Von Weiss et al. found fewer daily</p><p>hassles and higher social support predicted fewer adjustment problems (bothinternalizing and externalizing) for children diagnosed with pediatric rheumatic</p><p>disease. In addition, Kliewer and Kung reported a significant relation between</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Aga</p><p> Kha</p><p>n U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 06:</p><p>46 2</p><p>2 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>CHILD ROUTINES AND ADJUSTMENT 131</p><p>daily hassles and internalizing behavior problems and externalizing problems.</p><p>Family cohesion, family conflict, and family routines all moderated the relation</p><p>between daily hassles and internalizing behavior problems. Family cohesion,family conflict, adaptability, and family routines moderated the relation between</p><p>daily hassles and externalizing behavior problems. Specifically, high levels of</p><p>family cohesion and family routines mitigated the relation between daily hassles</p><p>and both internalizing and externalizing problems, whereas high levels of family</p><p>conflict were associated with more internalizing and externalizing problems. Fi-nally, high levels of family adaptability were associated with fewer externalizing</p><p>behaviors among children with more daily hassles.</p><p>Lanza and Drabick (2011) evaluated family routines (perceived and reported</p><p>by the child) as a moderator of hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms and oppo-</p><p>sitional defiant disorder (ODD) from both the parent and teacher perspective.</p><p>Results indicated that children reporting high levels of routines and high levelsof teacher-reported hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms were rated significantly</p><p>lower on the teacher ODD rating scale than those children reporting low levels</p><p>of routines. Results of the parent model were not significant. These findings are</p><p>consistent with previous literature, and suggest that routines may protect against</p><p>development of disruptive behavior disorders, even among children exhibitinghigh levels of hyperactive and impulsive behavior.</p><p>Researchers theorize that routines may also function as a protective fac-</p><p>tor against maladjustment among families experiencing stress associated with</p><p>chronic illness (Fiese &amp; Wamboldt, 2000). It has been suggested that families</p><p>who already have regular routines in place may be better equipped to manage theadditional demands of a chronic illness, resulting not only in improved medical</p><p>regimen adherence, but also less psychological distress (Fiese &amp; Wamboldt,</p><p>2000; Pierce &amp; Jordan, 2012). Markson and Fiese (2000) examined family ritual</p><p>meaning and family ritual routine as protective factors against the development of</p><p>anxiety in children with asthma and comparison peers. Mothers report of family</p><p>ritual meaning emerged as a protective factor against anxiety among childrenwith high health-life stress. Moreover, a recent longitudinal study of adjustment</p><p>among youth affected by maternal HIV/AIDS found that families with more</p><p>frequent family routines had youth with lower levels of a variety of internaliz-</p><p>ing and externalizing behaviors including depression, anxiety, aggression, and</p><p>conduct problems, over time (Murphy, Williams, Herbeck, &amp; Payne, 2009).Taken together, these findings support a moderating role for family routines in</p><p>development of child and adolescent internalizing and externalizing behaviors.</p><p>Similar to family rituals and routines, child routines may also function as a</p><p>potential buffer for childrens behavioral problems. Child routines have been</p><p>defined as observable, repetitive behaviors which directly involve the child andat least one adult acting in an interactive or supervisory role, and which occur</p><p>with predictable regularity in the daily and/or weekly life of the child (Sytsma,</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Aga</p><p> Kha</p><p>n U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 06:</p><p>46 2</p><p>2 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>132 BRIDLEY AND JORDAN</p><p>Kelley, &amp; Wymer, 2001, p. 243). It is important to distinguish individual child</p><p>routines from family routines because routines of individual children in families</p><p>may differ just as child adjustment may differ across children within a family(Jordan, 2003). It has been previously theorized that child routines may function</p><p>as a setting event for childrens compliance, with children being more likely to</p><p>comply with directives if they have a history of completing that activity in a</p><p>routine manner, such as at a regular time, place, and in a typical sequence</p><p>(Sytsma et al., 2001). Thus, it is expected that child routines will buffer theeffects of hassles on development of behavioral problems similar to that of</p><p>family rituals and routines by providing predictability and consistency in the</p><p>environment.</p><p>Child routines have been evaluated as a potential moderator in only one pub-</p><p>lished study. Greening, Stoppelbein, Konishi, Sytsma Jordan, and Moll (2007)</p><p>tested child routines as a moderator of the relation between emotional/behavioralproblems and adherence in children and adolescents diagnosed with insulin-</p><p>dependent diabetes mellitus. Although the moderation model was not supported,</p><p>previous studies demonstrating family cohesion and family routines as moder-</p><p>ators of stress and childrens behavior problems suggest further investigation</p><p>of child routines is warranted. To the extent that child routines increase theconsistency and predictability of daily events, they also may decrease the impact</p><p>of daily hassles on the development of internalizing and externalizing problems.</p><p>To date, no known studies have examined child routines as a potential pro-</p><p>tective factor against development of internalizing behavior problems, despite</p><p>evidence of significant correlations between the child routines and internalizingbehavior problems (Jordan, 2003). Therefore, the aim of this study was to</p><p>broaden the child stress literature by exploring the role of child routines as a</p><p>potential moderator of the relation between daily hassles and childrens psycho-</p><p>logical adjustment. It was predicted that children reporting a higher frequency</p><p>of daily hassles, but more daily routines (i.e., more consistency), would report</p><p>less internalizing and externalizing problems than children reporting a higherfrequency of daily hassles, but fewer child routines.</p><p>METHOD</p><p>Participants</p><p>Participants included 131 children ages 8 to 12 years (M D 9:44, SD D 1:22)</p><p>and their parent/guardian. Of the children, 56.8% were girls; 59.8% were White,</p><p>35.6% were Black, and 3% were mixed or other ethnicity. Initially, participantswere recruited from local schools in Mississippi; however, due to low rates</p><p>of participation from both students and school officials, participants were also</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>The</p><p> Aga</p><p> Kha</p><p>n U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 06:</p><p>46 2</p><p>2 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>CHILD ROUTINES AND ADJUSTMENT 133</p><p>recruited via undergraduate students. Of the students recruited through school</p><p>districts, 54.7% were enrolled in public schools and 45.3% in private schools. In</p><p>addition, 9.1% of the 131 participants reported previous psychological treatmentfor the child participant.</p><p>Measures</p><p>Demographic form. Parents/guardians were asked to provide information</p><p>about both themselves and the target child. Information about the parent/guardianincluded age, gender, race, marital status, educational background, occupation,</p><p>education, and household income. Information obtained about the child included</p><p>age, birth date, gender, race, grade, classroom teacher, and previous psycholog-</p><p>ical treatment.</p><p>Daily hassles. The Childrens Hassles Scale (CHS; Kanner, Coyne, Schae-</p><p>fer, &amp; Lazarus, 1981) is a 43-item, chi...</p></li></ul>

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