Self-reported Physical Health Outcomes of Caregivers Raising Very Low or Low Birth Weight Children

Jennifer Andersen , University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Julia McQuillan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Abstract Background: This paper addresses the questions surrounding the impact on caregivers’ physical health, while addressing the intervening factors that may lead improved outcomes. This paper asks: Does parenting a child born at a low-to-very low birth weight affect the self-rated physical health (SRH) of the caregiver? Methods: The analysis was completed using multiple regression in STATA 15, however, path analysis is in process to better address our hypotheses. Results: Birth weight of the child does not significantly change the caregiver SRH, however raising a child with special healthcare needs lowers caregiver SRH. Lower perceived control, even when buffered by social support, lowers caregiver SRH. Conclusions: Children with special healthcare needs place a substantial amount of stress on their caregivers. Additional support from healthcare providers to improve caregivers’ stress management skills will support a healthy environment for the child with special health care needs to thrive.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1