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Executive functions and household chores: Does engagement in chores predict children's cognition?

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posted on 2023-07-04, 05:13 authored by Deanna TepperDeanna Tepper, Tiffani HowellTiffani Howell, Pauleen BennettPauleen Bennett
Introduction: The benefits of completing household chores appear to transfer beyond managing day-to-day living. It is possible that chore engagement may improve executive functions, as engagement in chores require individuals to plan, self-regulate, switch between tasks, and remember instructions. To date, little research has been conducted on household chores and executive functions in children, for whom these skills are still developing. Methods: Parents and guardians (N = 207) of children aged 5–13 years (M = 9.38, SD = 2.15) were asked to complete parent-report questionnaires on their child's engagement in household chores and their child's executive functioning. Results: Results of the regression model indicated that engagement in self-care chores (e.g., making self a meal) and family-care chores (e.g., making someone else a meal) significantly predicted working memory and inhibition, after controlling for the influence of age, gender, and presence or absence of a disability. For families with a pet, there was no significant relationship between engagement in pet-care chores and executive function skills. Conclusion: We strongly recommend that further research explore the relationship between chores and executive functions. It is possible that parents may be able to facilitate their child's executive function development through encouraging participation in chores, whereas chore-based interventions (e.g., cooking programmes) may also be used to target deficits in ability.


Publication Date



Australian Occupational Therapy Journal






14p. (p. 585-598)





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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. © 2022 The Authors. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Occupational Therapy Australia.