Children with disabilities and chronic conditions and longer-term parental health
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).
Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
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