Protocol - Household Chaos and Unpredictability

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The Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale (CHAOS) is 15 question survey of one’s own home environment using a scale of true (or yes) or false (or no).

Specific Instructions:

While the original study participants were mothers, the WG acknowledges this questionnaire may be completed by parents and primary caregivers.


For each item parents are asked to respond true (or yes) if the item describes their home and false (or no) if the item does not describe their home.

1. There is very little commotion in our home.

2. We can usually find things when we need them.

3. We almost always seem to be rushed.

4. We are usually able to stay on top of things.

5. No matter how hard we try, we always seem to be running late.

6. It’s a real zoo in our home.

7. At home we can talk to each other without being interrupted.

8. There is often a fuss going on at our home.

9. No matter what our family plans, it usually doesn’t seem to work out.

10. You can’t hear yourself think in our home.

11. I often get drawn into other people’s arguments at home.

12. Our home is a good place to relax.

13. The telephone takes up a lot of our time at home.

14. The atmosphere in our home is calm.

15. First thing in the day, we have a regular routine at home.

Score one point for each of the following items scored as true (or yes):

Item # 3








Score one point for each of the following items scored as false (or no):

Item # 1







Add up the number of points. The higher the score the higher the level of environmental chaos in the home.

Protocol Name from Source:

Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale (CHAOS)



Personnel and Training Required


Equipment Needs


Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Self-administered questionnaire

Life Stage:

Adolescent, Adult


Mothers of Infants and Toddlers

Selection Rationale

The CHAOS scale was selected because it is concise, comprehensive, and easy to complete while also a validated and highly utilized scale.



Common Data Elements (CDE) Pediatric Household Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Questionnaire Assessment Scale   7051591 CDE Browser
Derived Variables


Process and Review

 Not applicable


Matheny, A.P., Wachs, T. D., Ludwig, J.L., & Philips, K. (1995). Bringing Order Out of Chaos: Psychometric Characteristics of the Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 16, pp.429-444.

General References

Chatterjee, A., Gillman, M. W., & Wong, M. D. (2015). Chaos, Hubbub, and Order Scale and Health Risk Behaviors in Adolescents in Los Angeles. The Journal of pediatrics, 167(6), 1415-21.

Jennifer A. Emond, Lucy K. Tantum, Diane Gilbert-Diamond, Sunny Jung Kim, Reina K. Lansigan and Sara Benjamin Neelon Household chaos and screen media use among preschool-aged children: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 201818:1210

Sangeeta Suku Jinal Soni Molly A. Martin Mansha Parven Mirza Anne Elizabeth Glassgow Michael Gerges Benjamin W. Van Voorhees Rachel Caskey. A multivariable analysis of childhood psychosocial behaviour and household functionality

Samantha Iwinski Corinne Cannavale Anne Walk Ruyu Liu Gabriella McLoughlin Naiman Khan. Interrelationships Between Household Chaos, Children's ADHD Tendencies, and Diet Quality (P11-113-19). Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 3, Issue Supplement_1, June 2019, nzz048.P11-113-19

Protocol ID:


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
Pediatric Development
Measure Name:

Household Chaos and Unpredictability

Release Date:

December 11, 2019


The Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale (CHAOS) is 15-question survey for self-assessing the atmosphere in one’s home environment using a scale of true (or yes) or false (or no).


Chaos in a child’s home environment can affect physical and emotional development.


Pediatric Development, Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale, CHAOS