Direct and Indirect Pathways to the Long-Term Health, Mental Health and Work-Related Outcomes for Mothers of Children with Chronic Illness

Dana Garbarski, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Whitney Witt, University of Wisconsin at Madison

We seek to determine the impact of caring for a chronically ill child on the health and mental health of mothers, and whether this effect is exacerbated or mitigated by certain family characteristics. We expect that caring for a child with a chronic health condition may present an additional risk for the health and mental health of mothers beyond caring for a healthy child, in part through additional physical, financial, time, and psychological burdens on certain family characteristics. Using data from the female NLSY79 cohort and the sample of their children, we estimate a structural equation model to ascertain whether the hypothesized worse health and mental health outcomes for mothers of children with chronic health conditions are due in part to family characteristics such as employment decisions, marital attitudes, and the home environment.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 5