Indexed on: 29 Nov '19Published on: 28 Nov '19Published in: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Given the potential negative effects that early childhood behavioral problems have on later development, it is important to elucidate risk and protective factors. This study examined household chaos as a predictor of externalizing and internalizing problems among young children from low-income families. Additionally, self-regulation was examined as a moderator of the association between chaos and behavior problems. One hundred young adult mother-toddler dyads participated. Moderation analyses indicated that self-regulation buffered the association between household chaos and child behavior problems. Specifically, greater household chaos was associated with more behavior problems, but only among children with poorer self-regulation. Notably, this pattern was observed for both externalizing and internalizing problems. These findings suggest that early interventions targeting young children's self-regulation skills could help prevent behavior problems among children living in chaotic home environments.