Summary: Children who help regularly around the house can perform better in school and have stronger problem-solving skills.
Source: University of La Trobe
Requiring your kids to do chores on a regular basis may be linked to better academic performance and problem-solving skills, according to a new study from La Trobe University.
The study, led by Ph.D. Candidate Deanna Tepper and published in Australian Occupational Therapyfound that regular tasks were associated with better executive functioning—planning, self-regulation, switching between tasks, and remembering directions.
Tepper said the study’s results suggest that interventions that involve household-like activities, such as cooking or gardening, may be particularly beneficial for children.
“Parents may be able to take on age- and ability-appropriate tasks to facilitate the development of executive functions,” Tepper said.
“Children who regularly cook a family meal or pull weeds in the garden may be more likely to be successful in other areas of life — like schoolwork or problem-solving.”
The study examined parents and guardians of 207 children aged between 5 and 13 years. In mid-2020, parents/guardians were asked to complete questionnaires on the number of household chores their children complete each day and their child’s executive role.
The researchers found that engaging in self-care tasks, such as B. preparing a meal for yourself, and family responsibilities, e.g. For example, preparing someone else’s meal significantly predicted working memory and inhibition (the ability to think before acting) after the control for the influence of age, gender, and the presence or absence of a disability.
While previous research has shown that engaging children in age-appropriate tasks can increase feelings of autonomy and is associated with improved prosocial behavior and greater life satisfaction, this is the first study to establish the link between regular tasks and children’s cognitive development, especially the management, examines function.
Executive functions are broadly defined as: working memory; the ability to monitor and manipulate temporary information; Inhibition, the ability to inhibit automatic responses or suppress irrelevant information in order to focus on a task; and Shift, the ability to shift focus between tasks.
“Typically, these skills begin to develop in early childhood and continue to develop into late adolescence and early adulthood,” Tepper said.
Impairments or delays in the development of executive function can result in difficulties in the ability to self-regulate, plan, and problem-solve as adults, which later in life affects reading and math skills and overall academic performance in of later childhood predicted.”
Early development of executive functions has also been associated with engagement in higher education and improved physical health and financial status in adulthood.
“Research shows that it may be possible to improve executive functioning through the development of individualized learning activities and routines,” Tepper said.
“We hypothesized that children who engaged more in housework would have better inhibition and working memory. Our results likely reflect that most tasks require individuals to self-regulate, sustain attention, plan, and switch between tasks, thereby supporting executive function development.”
About this news from neurodevelopmental research
Author: press office
Source: University of La Trobe
Contact: Press Office – La Trobe University
Picture: The image is in the public domain
Original research: Open access.
“Executive Functions and Housework: Does Housework Engagement Predict Children’s Cognition?” by Deanna L. Tepper et al. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal
Executive Functions and Housework: Does Housework Engagement Predict Children’s Cognition?
The benefits of doing housework seem to go beyond just managing daily life. It’s possible that engagement in housework can improve executive functioning because engagement in housework requires individuals to plan, self-regulate, switch between tasks, and remember directions. Little research has been done on housework and executive functioning in children who are still developing these skills.
Parents and Guardians (N = 207) of children aged 5–13 years (M= 9.38, SD= 2.15) were asked to fill out parent questionnaires about their child’s involvement in housework and their child’s executive functions.
Regression model results showed that preoccupation with self-care tasks (e.g., making yourself a meal) and family tasks (e.g., making someone else’s meal) significantly predicted working memory and inhibition after controlling for the influence of age . gender and presence or absence of a disability. For families with pets, there was no significant association between pet employment and executive function skills.
We strongly recommend that further research examines the relationship between domestic work and executive functions. It is possible that parents can encourage the development of their child’s executive functions by encouraging participation in household chores, while task-based interventions (e.g., cooking programs) can also be used to address performance deficits.