Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The State of Chaos
by Vincent, Pamela Sechrist, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2012, 97; 10631360
Abstract (Summary)

Chapter 1: Getting the chaos out of chaos

The goal of this review was to explore and organize current theoretical foundations, definitions, and methodologies associated with chaos. It demonstrated that there were two main groups of research; that which intentionally studied the effects of chaos in the home (such as noise and distraction), and that which studied some form of instability (such as partner changes or relocation). This review argued that measures of instability may actually be operationalized as dimensions of chaos. It also illustrated that many of the outcomes associated with these measures were similar. Therefore, future research should compare additional measures of instability and chaos to either create a unified construct or demonstrate the differences between the two.

Chapter 2: Chaos and attention

The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between chaos in the home and children's attention scores at approximately age 11. The current study utilized established measures of chaos, inattention, and hyperactivity in a sample from the Western Reserve Reading and Math Project (WRRMP). Evidence suggested that mothers' reports of chaos (N=157) were significantly correlated with inattention and hyperactivity, but children's reports of chaos (N=309) were not. Additionally, hierarchical regression models were estimated to address whether the relationship between chaos and attention was moderated by SES or family size. A significant interaction was found between chaos and family size when estimating variance in inattention, suggesting that the relationship between chaos and inattention was stronger in small families. While it was hypothesized that home literacy environment and parental involvement would mediate the relationship between chaos and attention, no mediating effects were found. Finally, the unique results for mother- and child- ratings of chaos suggested that there may be differences in the way that chaos was perceived, leading to variable effects for different members of the family.

Chapter 3: Attention, chaos, and academic performance.

This study used 157 mothers and 309 of their children at age 11, drawn from the Western Reserve Reading and Math Project (WRRMP), to examine the relationship between perceptions of chaos (noise, distraction, lack of routine) and children’s inattention and hyperactivity scores, as well as their associations with math and reading performance measures. Results demonstrated that child- and mother- reported chaos scores were correlated with the math performance measures taken from the Woodcock Johnson III (WJIII) and with the reading performance measures taken from the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test (WRMT). The inattention and hyperactivity measures were significantly related to the math scores, but not the reading scores. Additionally, hierarchical regression models were estimated to address whether the relationship between attention and academic performance was moderated by chaos. There were no significant interactions with chaos when accounting for variance in math or reading performance. Chapter 4: Discussion This summary demonstrated the importance of each of the previous chapters in the current manuscript. Additionally, it organized the findings into a clear and concise review in order to illustrate the connections between Chapters 1-3. Limitations of the current studies were then outlined so that the reader would appropriately interpret the results. Finally, implications for research and practice were established in order to illustrate future directions for this research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Petrill, Stephen
Commitee: Feng, Xin, Kamp-Dush, Claire, Schoppe-Sullivan, Sarah
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Human Ecology: Human Development and Family Science
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Early childhood education
Keywords: Academic performance, Attention, Chaos
Publication Number: 10631360
ISBN: 9780355016123
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