The Intergenerational Consequences of Parental Health Limitations
Scholars have theorized interrelationships between family members' health and well-being. Though prior research demonstrates associations between parents' and children's health, less is known about the relationship between parental health limitations and children's behavioral and academic outcomes. This article uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Well being Study (N = 3,273) to estimate the relationship between parental health limitations and four aspects of children's well-being. Findings reveal that mothers' health limitations, especially when they occur in middle childhood or chronically, are independently associated with greater internalizing and externalizing behaviors, lower verbal ability, and worse overall health at age 9. Fathers' health limitations are not associated with children's well-being. Fathers exert influence in other ways, as the relationship between mothers' chronic health limitations and children's internalizing behaviors is concentrated among children not residing with their fathers. These findings support the development of policies and interventions aimed at families.
Hardie, Jessica Halliday, and Kristin Turney. 2017. “The Intergenerational Consequences of Parental Health Limitations.” Journal of Marriage and Family 79:801–815.