Impact of child disability on the family

Nancy E. Reichman, Hope Corman, Kelly Noonan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Families with disabled children represent a sizeable share of all American households. Living with a disabled child can have profound effects on the entire family, which in turn can affect the health and well-being of the child who is disabled. Much needs to be learned about how children's health affects their parents, siblings, and other family members and about how family characteristics and resources modify those associations. Numerous programs and organizations provide resources for disabled children and their families, but the system is extremely fragmented and difficult to navigate. This commentary reviews what is known about the effects of child disability on the family, provides an overview of the complex needs of and multitude of resources available to families of disabled children, and concludes with suggested directions for practice, research, and public policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-683
Number of pages5
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


  • Child disability
  • Family


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