Washington D.C. , Dec 01 : In a study, it has been found that assigning household chores to children is considered an essential component in their development. However, it might not help better their self-control, which in turn can predict future job outcomes.
Self-control is a coveted personality trait that allows people to suppress inappropriate impulses, focus their attention and perform an action when there is a strong tendency to avoid it, according to the findings published in the Journal of Research in Personality.
For the study, researchers examined data from the UC Davis California Families Project, a 10-year longitudinal study of Mexican-origin youth assessed at ages 10, 12, 14, 16 and 19, in which self-control was reported by the children and parents separately.
Damian's team examined whether household chores and self-control co-developed from ages 10 to 16.
"We found no evidence of co-developmental associations between chores and effortful or self-control, with four out of four of our hypotheses receiving no empirical support," said Rodica Damian, Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston.
"These null effects were surprising given the strong lay conceptions and theoretical basis for our predictions. Maybe chores don't matter for personality development, but they still predict future chore behaviour," added Damian.
Previous research indicated that doing more homework was related to an increase in conscientiousness, a personality trait similar to self-control, prompting Damian to question whether household chores would have a similar effect on personality development.
Despite recent advances in understanding the origin of self-control, no known research existed investigating the co-development of chores and self-control.
Researchers also explored a matter unrelated to household chores -- whether initial levels of self-control at age 10, along with improved levels from age 10 to 16, predicted better work outcomes in young adulthood.
In this case, the answer was yes. Both initial levels of self-control and increases in self-control predicted positive future job outcomes.
"We found that children who had higher self-control at age 10 had less job stress and better job fit nine years later. Additionally, children whose self-control showed positive changes from age 10 to 16 (regardless of their initial self-control level at age 10) had higher job satisfaction and job autonomy nine years later," said Damian.
"The results suggest that improving one's level of self-control, regardless of where you start, will help you later in life and that's important to know. It's an argument for striving to improve over time," Damian opined.
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