TitleIncome trajectories of families raising a child with a neurodisability.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsRothwell, D, Lach, LM, Kohen, DE, Findlay, LC, Arim, RG
JournalDisabil Rehabil
Date Published09/2020

PURPOSE: To examine household income trajectories of children with and without neurodisability over a period of 6 years.

METHOD: We used four cycles of the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, a longitudinal study of the development and well-being of Canadian children from birth into adulthood.

RESULTS: While household income increased over time for both groups, families of children with neurodisability had consistently lower household income compared to families of children without neurodisability even after controlling for child and family socio-demographic characteristics. The presence of an interaction effect between parent work status and child with neurodisability at baseline indicated that among children whose parent(s) were not working at baseline, household incomes did not differ between children with and without neurodisability.

CONCLUSIONS: The association between child with neurodisability and lower household income may not hold for all types of parents', working status is an important consideration. Implications for Rehabilitation Findings support the health selection hypothesis that health status shapes diverging economic conditions over time: children with a ND have lower household incomes than children without a ND child across all waves of the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Income gaps did not increase or decrease over time; rehabilitation services and policies must consider the lower average incomes associated with raising a child with a ND. Social assistance support likely plays a key role in closing the gap, especially for non-working families.

Alternate JournalDisabil Rehabil
PubMed ID32898428