The Power of a Positive Home Environment: What the Research Says | Blog
Published: December 1, 2022 • Updated: October 20, 2023
Author: Yaqeen Institute
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Do you have a parenting resolution for the new school year? What about having a more positive environment at home? In this article, The Family and Youth Institute present findings from Yaqeen Institute’s survey on the home environment and mental health. We conclude with strategies that you can implement in your home to improve your family’s mental health and well-being.
Written by Dr. Madiha Tahseen, PhD and Issra Killawi, BA.
Extensive research shows us that home environments in which there is a lot of conflict and less warmth lead to greater anxiety and depression. Living with family members who constantly display anger, shame, and criticism and do not provide support and compassion can increase anxiety and depression in children and adolescents. A preliminary survey by Yaqeen Institute sheds light on how these relationships work in the Muslim American home. The survey asked about three dimensions of the home environment:
- Cohesion: the degree of commitment and support family members provide for one another,
- Expressiveness: the extent to which family members are encouraged to express their feelings directly, and
- Conflict: the amount of openly expressed anger and conflict among family members.
The subsample for the analyses presented here was 74% female, 67% were college graduates, and 84% were between the ages of 18 and 44. The sample was 6% White, 7% Black, 56% South Asian, and 15% Arab. Respondents answered questions about the home environment, anxiety and well-being.
In our family there is a feeling of togetherness.
In our family we really help and support each other.
How to create a feeling of togetherness and cohesion in your family:
In our family we can talk openly in our home.
In our family we sometimes tell each other about our personal problems.
How to encourage more openness and expression in your family:
In our family we often put each other down.
In our family we lose our temper often.