Parental Health Status
The physical and emotional health of a child’s parents can affect their ability to care for their child and can influence the health of the family as a whole. Among children whose mothers were present in the home, the parents of 56.8 percent of children rated both the mother’s physical and emotional health as “excellent” or “very good.” This percentage was significantly lower in small and large rural areas (53.7 and 53.8 percent, respectively) than in urban areas (57.5 percent). Of children whose fathers were in the home, the parents of 62.0 percent reported that the father’s physical and emotional health were both either “excellent” or “very good”. Mirroring the physical and emotional health status of mothers, the percentage of fathers whose physical and emotional health was rated as “excellent” or “very good” was significantly lower in small and large rural areas (59.9 and 59.4 percent, respectively) than in urban areas (62.6 percent).
When considering physical and emotional health separately, some similar differences were observed by location. The mothers of children in urban areas were significantly more likely than those in rural areas to be in excellent or very good physical health: 64.8 percent of urban children had mothers whose physical health was excellent or very good, compared to 61.6 percent of children in large rural areas and 60.3 percent of those in small rural areas. The percentage of children whose mothers were in excellent or very good emotional health was around 70 percent in all areas.
The same pattern was evident for the health status of fathers. Of children in urban areas, the fathers of 69.1 percent were reported to be in excellent or very good physical health, compared to 65.1 percent of children in large rural areas and 65.9 percent of those in small rural areas. In the case of fathers’ emotional health, there was no significant difference by location.