FSRTC Research Brief 1: Social Support and Family Resilience Ease the Stress of Parents of Children with Complex Special Health Care Needs


This brief examines the effects of three social determinants—community conditions, emotional support, and family resilience—on the mental and physical health of mothers of children with complex special health care needs. The researchers analyzed data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, selecting caregivers whose children were identified as having “more complex health care needs.”

The three social determinants mentioned above were found to affect the emotional and physical health of mothers of children with more-complex health care needs, regardless of race/ethnic background. However, the exposure to social determinants that may have a negative effect on caregivers does differ by race and ethnicity. Thinking about social determinants and the context in which families live are important considerations when developing policies and practices aimed at supporting family caregivers.


Spring 2019 
Number 1
University of Illinois Chicago
Research and Training Center on Community Living


  • Community life
    • Parenting and family relationships
  • Specific life stage
    • Adults
  • Culture and diversity
    • Other cultural groups
  • Specific disability
    • Multiple disabilities