New research: Health Effects of Caring for Young Children with Disabilities
Dr Sarah Masefield, Research Fellow with IGDC had the article The Caregiver Health Effects of Caring for Young Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Meta-analysis published.
The review assesses the evidence for the effect on mothers’ health of caring for young children with developmental disabilities, and the influence of different disability diagnoses and socioeconomic status.
Mothers of school age and older children with developmental disabilities experience poorer health than mothers of typically developing children.
Using evidence from 14 studies, this study found that more mothers of young disabled children have worse health than mothers of typically developing children which may be due to the common experience of high stress in caregivers during the preschool period as they seek and receive their child’s diagnosis and adjust to the implications for their lives.
Further research is needed to identify whether the relationship is causal and, if so, interventions that could reduce the negative effect of caregiving.