The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
Requiring kids to do chores on a regular basis may be associated with them having better academic performance and problem-solving skills, according to new research from La Trobe University.
The study, led by Ph.D. candidate Deanna Tepper and published in Australian Occupational Therapy, found that regular chores were associated with better executive functions—planning, self-regulation, switching between tasks, and remembering instructions.
Tepper said the study’s results indicate that interventions that incorporate household chore-like activities such as cooking or gardening may be particularly beneficial for children.
The study looked at parents and guardians of 207 children aged between 5 and 13 years. In mid-2020, the parents/guardians were asked to complete questionnaires on the number of chores their children completed daily and their child’s executive function.
The researchers found that engagement in self-care chores, such as making themselves a meal, and family-care chores, for instance, making someone else a meal, significantly predicted working memory and inhibition (the ability to think before acting), after controlling for the influence of age, gender, and presence or absence of a disability.
Early development of executive functioning has also been linked to engagement in tertiary education and improved physical health and better financial status in adulthood.
“We hypothesized that children who engaged in more household chores would have better inhibition and working memory. Our findings likely reflect that most chores require individuals to self-regulate, maintain attention, plan, and switch between tasks, thereby supporting the development of executive functioning,” Tepper said.