The nature (and nurture) of children's perceptions of family chaos

Ken B. Hanscombe*, Claire M A Haworth, Oliver S P Davis, Sara R. Jaffee, Robert Plomin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Chaos in the home is a key environment in cognitive and behavioural development. However, we show that children's experience of home chaos is partly genetically mediated. We assessed children's perceptions of household chaos at ages 9 and 12 in 2337 pairs of twins. Using child-specific reports allowed us to use structural equation modelling to explore the genetic and environmental etiologies of children's perceptions of chaos. We found that these perceptions are significantly heritable (22%), with the remainder explained by environmental influences. Finding that genes influence children's experience of chaotic environments has far-reaching implications for how we conceptualize the family home and its impact on cognitive and behavioural development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-553
Number of pages5
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • Gene-environment correlation
  • Home environment
  • Household chaos

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The nature (and nurture) of children's perceptions of family chaos'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this