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 & 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 & 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 & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all theinformation (the Content) contained in the publications on our platform.However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness,or suitability for any purpose of the Content. 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Terms & 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 & 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 & 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, &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 & Martin, 1985; Chamberlain & 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 & 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, & Catanzaro, 1995; Kliewer & Kung, 1998;</p><p>Lazarus & 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, & 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, & 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 & 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 & 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 & Wamboldt,</p><p>2000; Pierce & 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, & 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, & 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, & Lazarus, 1981) is a 43-item, chi...</p></li></ul>
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