Children’s daily living routine mediates the relations between parent-child relationships and child adjustment problems during school suspension in Hong Kong

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Abstract

Young children’s adjustment problems were found to be prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such adjustment problems may be dependent on children’s relationships with their parents and children’s daily living routine in the family during the pandemic-related school suspension period. This study examines how children’s routine mediated the associations between parent-child relationships and child adjustment problems during the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong, when schools were suspended. The study collected data from 937 parents (87.8% mothers) of children aged 5–12 (M = 7.35 years, SD = 2.09; 50.5% girls). Parents reported on parent-child relationships, children’s daily living routine, and child adjustment problems in an online survey. Our findings from structural equation modeling indicate that parent-child closeness was negatively related to child adjustment problems, whereas conflict was positively related to child adjustment problems. Children’s routine mediated the associations between parent-child relationships (i.e., closeness and conflict) and child externalizing problems. However, children’s routine did not mediate the associations between parent-child relationships (i.e., closeness and conflict) and child internalizing problems. The findings show that parents should be helped to establish routine, especially in difficult times when young children experience turbulence in their daily life, so as to reduce their adjustment problems, in particular of an externalizing nature. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Psychiatry & Human Development
Early online dateSept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sept 2023

Citation

Wu, X.-Y., Lau, E. Y. H., Li, J.-B., & Chan, D. K. C. (2023). Children’s daily living routine mediates the relations between parent-child relationships and child adjustment problems during school suspension in Hong Kong. Child Psychiatry & Human Development. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-023-01609-7

Keywords

  • Children’s routine
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Adjustment problems
  • School suspension
  • COVID-19
  • PG student publication

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