Parents' Health Status
The health of children is closely related to the health of their parents; the physical and mental health of children and adults are influenced by the health of the family as a whole. Parents with physical or mental health problems may be less able to care for their children, and children’s health conditions may make it more difficult for parents to care for themselves.
The survey asked about the physical and mental health of parents who lived with the child. Overall, the mothers of 71.1 percent of children reported themselves to be in excellent or very good physical and mental health, and the fathers of 76.7 percent of children were in excellent or very good physical and mental health (data not shown).
However, the health of parents and children are interdependent, as is evident in the health status of parents of children with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions. Overall, the mothers of 54.6 percent and the fathers of 66.8 percent of children with at least one condition reported their physical and mental health to be excellent or very good. This percentage is far lower for parents of children with multiple conditions: of children with two conditions, the mothers of 51.9 percent were in excellent or very good health, and of children with three or more conditions, the mothers of 37.0 percent reported their health as excellent or very good. The health of fathers is somewhat better: of children with two conditions, the fathers of 65.7 percent were in excellent or very good health, as were the fathers of 55.2 percent of children with three or more conditions.