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Children with disabilities and chronic conditions and longer-term parental health

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  • Burton, Peter
  • Lethbridge, Lynn
  • Phipps, Shelley

Abstract

This paper uses panel data from the Statistics Canada National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (1994-2000) to study the implications of parenting a child with a disability or chronic condition for subjective assessments of parental health. We find mother's health to be negatively affected, particularly if the disability is longer-term. Within families, the wife's health deteriorates relative to her husband's when they are parenting a child with a disability. These results are consistent with Akerlof and Kranton's [Akerlof, G., Kranton, R., 2000. Economics and identity. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 105(3), 715-753] arguments that 'identity' is an important determinant of both behaviour and well-being. For parents of children with disabilities, the behaviour associated with a traditional 'good mother' identity (e.g., care-giving) appears to have more adverse health consequences than the behaviour associated with a 'good father' identity (e.g., breadwinning).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 1168-1186

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:3:p:1168-1186

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  2. Nancy Folbre, 1995. ""Holding hands at midnight": The paradox of caring labor," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 73-92.
  3. Jacobson, Lena, 2000. "The family as producer of health -- an extended grossman model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 611-637, September.
  4. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  5. Gray, David E., 2003. "Gender and coping: the parents of children with high functioning autism," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 631-642, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Bobinac, Ana & van Exel, N. Job A. & Rutten, Frans F.H. & Brouwer, Werner B.F., 2010. "Caring for and caring about: Disentangling the caregiver effect and the family effect," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 549-556, July.
  2. Peter Burton & Lynn N. Lethbridge & Shelley Phipps, 2008. "Mothering Children with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions: Long-Term Implications for Self-Reported Health," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(3), pages 359-378, September.

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