American Federation for Medical Research

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Association between Overall Maternal Health Status and Family Resilience: Results from a National Survey
Sitara Soundararajan1, Jaya Aysola2. 1Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Purpose of Study The relationship between maternal health and health outcome of offspring has been studied extensively. However, there is sparse data available regarding the association between overall maternal health and the health, functionality, and productivity of the family unit. More specifically, family resilience in the context of maternal health is not well understood. The objective of this study was to determine if overall maternal health status is associated with family resilience.
Methods Used We analyzed data from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health, the only national survey assessing the health of children ages 0-17 in the United States. The independent variable in this study was overall physical and mental maternal health status. The main outcome of interest was presence of family resilience. We estimated the association between maternal heath status and family resilience with a multivariate logistic regression model, adjusting for the following covariates: current health insurance status, family structure of child's household, child race, highest education of adult in household, income level, and primary household language.
Summary of Results Compared to mothers whose physical and mental health are not excellent or very good, mothers who had excellent or very good physical and mental health statuses have families that showed significantly better adjusted rates for family resilience measures. Results suggest that mothers with excellent or very good physical and mental health statuses have higher odds of having families that exhibit resilience [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.790, CI [2.409, 3.231]], compared to mothers whose physical and mental health are not excellent or very good. Controlling for protective factors did not change the significance of the results [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.617, CI [2.245, 3.051]].
Conclusions The study's results indicate that improved maternal health status is associated with higher odds of family resilience. These findings suggest that overall maternal health may have a unique role in shaping the way families respond to adversity. Interventions addressing the health of our nation's mothers may have potential in improving the manner in which US families withstand and rebound from adversity.


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