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Childhood Chaos and Socioeconomic Status

Supplementary Results Summary Tables. Evans, G.W., Eckenrode, J., & Marcynyszyn, L. (2009). Poverty and chaos. In G.W. Evans & T.D. Wachs (Eds.). Chaos and children's development: Levels of analysis and mechanisms. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Chapter Contents

  1. Table 1 Crowding
  2. Table 2 Noise
  3. Table 3 Routines and Rituals
  4. Table 4 Residential Relocation
  5. Table 5 School Relocation
  6. Table 6 Maternal Partner Changes
  7. Table 7 Composite Measures of Chaos
  8. References

Table 1 Crowding

Author Sample SES Index Chaos Measure Findings
Mitchell (1971) 1500 Hong Kong households with children, heterogeneous Income quartile square ft. 22|10% of low|high income families have < 20 sq ft/per.
Davie et al. (1972) 10,000 UK representative sample families with 7-year-old Occupation > 1.5 person/room 37|1% lowest|highest class
Light (1973) 1520 US households with children Income share home with non-family members r = -.32
Rutter et al. (1974) 239 London households with 10 year old, half in poor and half in working class area SES > 1 person/room or ≥ 4 children 50|20% in poor|working class areas
Booth & Edwards (1976) 560 Toronto households with children, high density households over sampled Occupation

Education
person/room r = -.25

r = -.23
Gove & Huges (1983) 1582 Chicago households (776 with one or more children) Income

Education
person/room r = -.15

r = -.10
Wachs & Chan (1986) 48, 12 month olds, heterogeneous SES person/room r = -.26
Mayer & Jencks (1989) 1617 non-Hispanic Chicago households heterogeneous < 1 ≥ income to needs > 1 person/room 25%|11%
Goduka et al. (1992) 300, 5-6 year old rural black children in South Africa, heterogeneous Occupation

Education
person/room r = -.63

r = -.55
Fuller et al. (1993) 2017 low and middle class with children in Bangkok Income

Education
person/room r = -.34

r = -.25
Liaw & Brooks-Gunn (1994) 704, 36 month olds, premature & low birth weight babies, heterogeneous ≤ 1.5 > income to needs > 2 child/adult ratio 26%|7%
Children's Defense Fund (1995) National sample of households with children ≤ 1 > income to needs > 1 person/room 30%|9%
Federman et al. (1996) ˜ 50,000 representative US households ≤ 1 > income to needs > 1 person/room 19%|4%
Myers et al. (1996) 1% representative sample of US census Household income/median for state > 1 person/room low income 8%

mid income 5%

high income 1%
Mayer (1997) ˜ 40,000 representative sample of US households, 1985-1989 Income > 1 person/room lowest decile 19%

2nd decile 23%

third quintile 11%

fifth quintile 5%
Evans et al. (1998) 281 low and middle income 10-12 years, urban India Income person/room r = -.53
National Center for Education Statistics (2000) 903 representative sample of US elementary and secondary schools % eligible free/subsidized lunch > 125% building capacity > 70% eligible 6%
Conley (2001) 2686 representative sample of US households with children Income ≥ 1 < person/room Odds Ratio = -.95
Evans et al. (2002) 1154 working and middle class 9-10 years in Austria Education person/room r = -.14
Evans & English (2002) 270, 8-10 years, half below poverty line, half 2-4 times poverty line Poverty/Middle-income person/room r = -.35
Kantrowitz & Evans (2004) 21 preschool children, heterogeneous Income/Education children/activity area in daycare ctr. r = -.39

r = -.39
Evans et al. (2008) 80, 36 months, low and middle income Income person/room r = -.42
  ˜ 10,000 36 months, UK representative sample Income person/room r = -.41


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Note. Income-to-needs is the ratio of household income to the federal poverty line which is based on family size and composition. An income-to-needs ratio of 1.0 is the Federal Poverty Line, adjusted annually for the cost of living index.

Table 2 Noise

Author Sample SES Index Chaos Measure Findings
Cohen et al. (1973) 73, 2nd-5th graders in one apartment building over a major thruway, middle and upper middle class Education Noise Level (floor level) r = -.41
EPA (1977) ˜ 2000 adults in 7 major metropolitan areas, heterogeneous Income Community Noise levels in decibels r = -.61
Heft (1979) 94 kindergarten, lower and middle income Income Trained Rater of sound levels r = -.14
Homel & Burns (1987) 321, 9-11 years in 18 neighborhoods varying in SES Neighborhood SES Child ratings of noise, dirt, pollution Low risk .15 High risk .40
Evans et al. (2001) 115, 4th graders, Austria homogeneous Education Community Noise (< 50 decibels > 60) 2.50|2.44 (1= < HS - 5=Grad school)
Evans & English (2002) 270 8-10 year olds; half below poverty line, half middle income Income Indoor Noise Levels in decibels r = -.24

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Table 3 Routines and Rituals

Author Sample SES Index Chaos Measure Findings
Boyce et al. (1977) 58 preschool and elementary school children Income Family Routine Inventory (self-report of household activities such as meals, bed time) r = -.47
Jensen et al. (1983) 307 families with child in home, income and education heterogeneous Income

Education
Family Routine Inventory r = .14

r = .03
Sprunger et al. (1985) 285 families of infants, income and education heterogeneous Income

Education
Family Routine Inventory r = .16

r = .09
Fiese (1992) 241 undergraduates, middle and upper middle class Social Class Family Rituals Questionnaire (self-reports of family rituals and frequency occurrence) r = ns
Fiese & Kline (1993) 214 undergraduates, middle and upper middle class Social Class Family Rituals Questionnaire r < .10
Fiese et al. (1993) 115 infants & preschoolers, middle and upper middle class Social Class Family Rituals Questionnaire r < .10
Henry & Lovelace (1995) 95 high school students with remarried parent middle and upper middle class Education

Occupation
Family Time & Routines (self reports of household activities)

Family Celebration Index (self reports of celebration rituals)
r = .07

r = .01

r = .26

r = .10
Brody & Flor (1997) 156 African American 6-9 year-olds predominantly low income Perceived Financial Resources Family Routine Inventory r = .20
Kleiwer & Kung (1998) 99 African American 8-12 year-olds predominantly low income Education Family Routine Inventory r = .37
Bradley et al. (2001) 29,000 3-15 year-olds, US representative sample Below/Above Poverty Line ≥ 1 Daily meal with parents 3-6 yrs   54/70%

6-10   46/63%

10-15   42/57%
Lareau (2002) 88 3rd grade, heterogeneous Occupation Organized Leisure

Activities/Week
Middle Class   4.9

Working Class   2.5

Poor   1.5
Britto et al. (2002) 1,270, 12-36 month-olds, heterogeneous Education

Employment
Regularity of meal, nap, bed time HS Grad/Not HS 8|44%

Employed/Unemployed 53|43%
Seaton & Taylor (2003) 164, predominantly low-income African American mothers of adolescents Perceived Financial Resources Family Routine Inventory r = .14
Crouter et al. (2004) 192 dual earner families with adolescent and siblings, working and middle class Education

Income
Total Family Time Together

Meal Times Together
r = -.04

r = -.15

r = -.03

r = -.11
Fiese et al. (2005) 133 asthmatic children, heterogeneous Social Class Medication Routines

Burden of Maintaining Routines
r = ns

r = -.33
Gershoff et al. (2007) ˜ 20,000 kindergarten, nationally representative, heterogeneous Income Meal and bedtime routines, Rules re: TV watching r = .07

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Note. NS = not statistically significant (value not given).

Table 4 Residential Relocation

Author Sample SES Index Chaos Measure Findings
Mayer & Jencks (1989) 1617 non-Hispanic Chicago households heterogeneous < 1 ≥ 1 income to needs evicted past 2 years 2%|.6%
Long (1992) ˜ 17,000 3-17 year-olds, national US sample, heterogeneous < poverty line

< high school
life time moves

< = > the mean for age
10%|18%|24%

18%|21%|26%
Wood et al. (1993) ˜ 10,000 6-17 year olds, national US sample, heterogeneous ≤ 1 > income

to needs

Education

Unemployed|Employed
≥ 6 moves in lifetime 15%|9%

< High School   13%

Some College   9%

16%|10%
Simpson & Fowler (1994) ˜ 10,000 1-12th graders, national US sample, heterogeneous < poverty line >

< high school

> high school
life time moves 48%|37%

46%

38%
Astone & Mclanahan (1994) ˜ 10,000 10th graders, national US sample, heterogeneous SES 0,1, 2 ≥ 3 moves

5th-10th grade
b = -.11

≥ 3 moves vs. 0
Fergusson et al. (1994) longitudinal study of ˜ 1000 children birth to age 15, heterogeneous family income

occupation (prof - unskilled/unemployed)
life time moves r = -.18

r = .22
Federman et al. (1996) ˜ 50,000 representative US households heterogeneous ≤ 1 > income to needs evicted in past year 2%|.4%
Ennett et al. (1997) 36 elementary schools, heterogeneous census income & % < 1 income to needs & % hs drop neighborhood mobility (% change in 5 years & out % renter households) r = .16
Kohen et al. (1998) 11,378 Canadian 5-11 year-olds, heterogeneous Income

< high school

> high school
0, 1-2, ≥ 3

life time moves
53,520|52,261|
41,497

4%|16%|20%

67%|65%|61%
Rumberger & Larson (1998) 11,671 eighth graders, US representative sample SES

(bottom/top 25%)
move within 4 year period 49%|28%
Ackerman et al. (2002) 139 1st and 3rd grade, predominantly low-income, African American Income

Education
life time moves r = .18

r = .11
Adam & Chase Lansdale (2002) 267 African American female 15-18 years, predominantly low income Welfare

Income

Education
moves last 5 years r = .11

r = -.07

r = -.08
Herrenkohl et al. (2003) 212 adolescents, heterogeneous SES life time moves r = -.35
US Census (2004) US national data, heterogeneous Income



≤ 1 > income to needs
moved within last year < 25K   19%
25-49K   15%
50-99K   12%
≥ 100K   10%
4%|13%
Hoglund & Leadbetter (2004) 423 six year-olds, heterogeneous proportion of students in school receiving free or subsidized lunches

Education
life time moves r = .19



r = -.15
Gilman (2007) 2913 seven year-olds, Rhode Island families, heterogeneous SES birth - age 7 r = -.21
Gershoff et al. (2007) ˜ 20,000 kindergarten, nationally representative, heterogeneous Income life time moves
Rules re: TV watching
r = -.18

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Table 5 School Relocation

Author Sample SES Index Chaos Measure Findings
Rutter et al. (1974) 127 low-income; 132 working class London borough | inner city Proportion children changing one year
Proportion teachers changing one year
3%|26%


7%|11%
GAO (1994)
Office (1994)
˜ 15,000 3rd graders, US representative sample Income ≥ 3 changes in schools < 10K   30%
> 25K   10%
Inner city   25%
Sub|rural   15%
Fergusson et al. (1994) longitudinal study of ˜ 1000 children birth to age 15, heterogeneous family income occupation (prof - unskilled/unemployed) total number of schools r = -.13

r = .11
Eckenrode et al. (1995) 726 5-15 year-olds, half of sample were documented abuse cases, 67% of all families welfare recipients at some point Combined index of residential and non-normative school changes total number of schools r = .22
Mehna & Reynolds (1995) 988 urban, African-American 6th graders, low-income sample Subsidized lunch 1=full, 2=partial, 3=none Moves K - 5th grade B = -.15
Kerbow (1996) ˜ 14,000 sixth graders, Chicago schools, heterogeneous Median income Subsidized lunch School changes in 2 year period (0|> 4) 26,898|$22,565
78%|65%
National Center for Education Statistics (1996) ˜ 25,000 eighth graders, US representative sample 0-5 % vs. 40% of school eligible for govt. subsidized lunch Two or more school changes since first grade other than from elementary to middle school. 31%|38%
Alexander et al. (2001) 767 first graders, Baltimore, heretogeneous % subsidized meals Within district moves over 5 year period 0|1|> 2 moves 65%|77%|88%
Nelson et al. (2001) ˜ 2,500 predominantly poor, urban African-American and Latino K and first graders Single/two parent ≥ 90% in school eligible for free lunch|other schools changed school in 3 years 65%|41%
39%|33%
Kohen et al. (1998) 11,378 Canadian 5-11 year olds, heterogeneous Income
< high school
> high school
c0, 1-2, ≥ 3
school changes
51,444|47,251|38,192
15%|19%|25%
65%|64%|62%
Rumberger & Larson (1998) 11,671 eighth graders, US representative sample SES
(bottom/top 25%)
Non-normative school changes in 4 year period 32%|24%
Wright (1999) ˜ 3,000 3rd-4th graders, US midwest, heterogeneous Free or reduced lunch eligibility/No eligibility One or more changes in one year 0%|31%
Rumberger & Thomas (2000) 7,642 tenth graders, US rep sample SES Change in 2 year period High SES 13% less than Middle & 26% less than Low SES
Herrenkohl et al. (2003) 212 adolescents, heterogeneous SES Lifetime school changes r = -.34
Public Policy Research Institute of California (2003) 17 high schools, San Diego, CA Hi/Lo quintile free or reduced lunch eligbility High school 6%|2%
Schafft (2005) 277 elementary school districts upstate NY, heterogeneous Bottom and top third based on school lunch subsidies Student transfers

New admissions
7.2%|4.5%
7.8%|4.3%

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Table 6 Maternal Partner Changes

Author Sample SES Index Chaos Measure Findings
Guidubaldi et al. (1986) 699 first-fifth graders, heterogeneous half from divorced families Median Income Divorced|Not Divorced 10-15K|25-30K
Reid (1989) UK census data, heterogeneous SES Divorce/1000 husbands Unskilled 30
Professional 7
Capaldi & Patterson (1991) 206 4th grade boys, predominantly low-income Per capita income
Low SES
> 2 < maternal partner changes $2700|$5351
28.5/34.2
Sandefur et al. (1992) ˜ 5,000 14-17 year olds, heterogeneous Per capita income Intact vs.
Single Remarried
-$5,000
-$2,000
Fergusson et al. (1994) longitudinal study of ˜ 1000 children birth to age 15, heterogeneous family income
occupation (prof - unskilled/unemployed)
total number of parental changes r = -. 29
r = .26
Aquilino (1996) 540 19-34 year olds, single family households Education ≥ 3 partner changes < High School 30%
High School 49%
Some College 21%
National Statistics (1997) ˜ 9,000 British adults, heterogeneous Per capita income change 1991-1995
≥ 2 decile drop
stable decile
≥ 2 decile gain
Maternal partner change 47%
39%
14%
Kiernan & Mueller (1999) ˜ 26,000 British households, heterogeneous¹ Hourly wages (£)
Unemploy|Employ
Welfare|No welfare
Divorce|Married 5.86|6.57
12%|5%
34%|5%
Evans (2004) US Census of families with children, heterogeneous Income Quintiles Divorce Lowest Quint.   25.4%
Highest Quint.   5.7%
Cavanagh & Huston (2006) 982 third graders, heterogeneous < Poverty Line > Maternal partner changes
≥ 3 (birth-third grade)
25%|5%
Osborne & Mclanahan (2007) 2000 3 year-olds, heterogeneous < Poverty Line > Maternal partner changes
0 in child's lifetime
≥ 3 (birth-third grade)
39%|59%
20%|9%

¹Subsample of parents ages 25-39 with children. Similar data on parents ages 40-59.

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Table 7 Composite Measures of Chaos

Author Sample SES Index Chaos Measure Findings
Matheny et al. (1995) 123 middle class infants & toddlers, homogenous Occupation
Education
CHAOS Scale (crowding, noise, confusion) r = -.24
r = -.11
Moore et al. (2000) ˜ 40,000 families of 6-17 year-olds representative US Income to needs Turbulence (> 2 of following in 1 year: residential chg., move to new state, move to new fam., ≥ 2 parent jobs, ≥ 2 school chg, sig. fam hlth prob.) ≤ 1   13%
1.5-2   7%
> 3   3%
Asbury et al. (2005) 1,900 4 year-old twins, representative UK sample SES CHAOS Scale r = -.27
Dumas et al. (2005) 106 kindergarten, heterogeneous
676 third graders, homogeneous
Education
Education
Income
CHAOS Scale r = -.28
r = -.16
r = .09
Evans et al. (2005) 223, 12-14 years, heterogeneous Income to needs CHAOS Scale r = -.30
Pike et al. (2006) 5765 families of twins, UK SES CHAOS Scale r = -.28
Hart et al. (2007) 211 twin pairs, K-second grade Education CHAOS Scale r = -.21
Marcynyszyn et al. (in press) 141 fifteen year-olds, predominantly low & lower middle class

mothers of 225 12-14 year-olds, heterogeneous
Income to needs
Education

Income to needs
Education
Instability (residential chg., school chg., partner chg., work hr. chg).

Instability
r = -.25
r = .02

r = -.40
r = .18

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