Background Disability does not simply affect the health status of the individual who directly experiences that condition, but it has important consequences on the health and well-being of the other family members as well. Focusing on Italy, an extremely interesting test-bed due to its strong familialist welfare regime, we show significant spillover effects of children's disability on parental health and well-being.Methods We use data from a nationally representative household survey on almost 13 000 mothers and fathers and adopt a multivariate regression setting providing evidence that the disability of a child is negatively associated with parents' health and life satisfaction.Results Parents of a disabled child report lower levels of general and mental health, as well as lower levels of well-being compared with parents with a healthy child. Strong heterogeneity by gender and socio-economic characteristics is observed, with mothers being more affected by the disability status of the child than fathers. The estimated coefficients suggest that education remains an important protective factor even for parents of a disabled child.Conclusion This study claims and documents that child disability is an overlooked source of health disadvantage for parents. Such disadvantage is especially relevant for mothers and lower-educated parents, evidence that suggests the importance of taking an intersectional approach to study health disparities.

Child disability as a family issue: a study on mothers' and fathers' health in Italy

Balbo, Nicoletta
;
Bolano, Danilo
In corso di stampa

Abstract

Background Disability does not simply affect the health status of the individual who directly experiences that condition, but it has important consequences on the health and well-being of the other family members as well. Focusing on Italy, an extremely interesting test-bed due to its strong familialist welfare regime, we show significant spillover effects of children's disability on parental health and well-being.Methods We use data from a nationally representative household survey on almost 13 000 mothers and fathers and adopt a multivariate regression setting providing evidence that the disability of a child is negatively associated with parents' health and life satisfaction.Results Parents of a disabled child report lower levels of general and mental health, as well as lower levels of well-being compared with parents with a healthy child. Strong heterogeneity by gender and socio-economic characteristics is observed, with mothers being more affected by the disability status of the child than fathers. The estimated coefficients suggest that education remains an important protective factor even for parents of a disabled child.Conclusion This study claims and documents that child disability is an overlooked source of health disadvantage for parents. Such disadvantage is especially relevant for mothers and lower-educated parents, evidence that suggests the importance of taking an intersectional approach to study health disparities.
In corso di stampa
2023
Balbo, Nicoletta; Bolano, Danilo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4061030
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