DD Data Brief: Children with Disabilities: Social Roles and Family Impacts

Part of the DD Data Brief series.
Lynda Lahti Anderson, Sheryl A Larson, Charlie Lakin, Nohoon Kwak


A brief using the 1994-1995 Child Disability Follow-Back Survey (DFS) of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to examine the characteristics of children between the ages of 6 and 17 who were identified as having functional limitations or a disability-related diagnosis. Four disability groups were defined: children with a) developmental disabilities only, b) intellectual disabilities only, c) intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities, and d) other disabling conditions or impairments. These groups were described in terms of each group's ability to perform the social roles expected of children (e.g., relationships with family and friends, participation in school and other activities). Summary statistics are provided on demographic characteristics, special education and other services, impact of the child's disability on the family, and perceptions of disability. Findings from the Personal Adjustment and Role Skills Survey (PARS) questions are also included. In this issue the term "intellectual disability" (ID) is used in place of "mental retardation" (MR) in response to the growing commitments to avoid using the latter term because of the stigma associated with that label. The name of this publication has been changed for the same reason.


August 2002 
Volume 4, Number 1
Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL)


  • Community life
    • Friendships and social relationships
    • Parenting and family relationships
  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
  • Specific disability
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)