Material hardship in U.S. families raising children with disabilities


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Researchers analyzed the 2002 wave of the National Survey of America’s Families, conducted by the Urban Institute and Child Trends, and examined material hardship in families raising children with disabilities. Measures of hardship included food insecurity, housing instability, health care access, and telephone disconnection. The research indicated that families of children, with disabilities experienced significantly greater hardship than did other families. As family income rose above the federal poverty level, hardship declined sharply for families of children without disabilities but not for families raising children with disabilities. Thus, the U.S. federal poverty level was found to be a particularly poor predictor of hardship for families raising children with disabilities. Finally, among families of children with disabilities, single-mother and cohabitingpartner families particularly were at risk for experiencing severe hardship. This article also discusses policy and advocacy implications.

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