Adversity and children experiencing family homelessness: implications for health

J. J. Cutuli, Sandra M. Ahumada, Janette E. Herbers, Theresa L. Lafavor, Ann S Masten, Charles N Oberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study tests links between adversity and health problems among children in family emergency housing. Children who experience family homelessness are at risk to also experience high levels of stress, health problems, and need for pediatric care. Understanding the connection between stress and health holds the potential to reduce persistent health disparities. Analyses tested whether experiencing a greater number of stressful life events during the early years of life was related to worse health conditions, emergency health-care utilization, and hospitalizations. Parents noted children’s experience of negative stressful life events, health problems, emergency room (ER) use, and hospitalization. Two cohorts of kindergarten-aged children staying in emergency family housing participated in the study in 2006–2007 (n = 104) and in 2008–2009 (n = 138), with the results examined separately. In both cohorts, more health problems were acknowledged for children exposed to more negative stressful life events. Stressful life events were not related to ER use but did relate to hospitalization for the 2006–2007 cohort. Results affirm links between stress in early childhood and health problems among children living in emergency housing. Findings are consistent with the hypothesis that adversity in early childhood contributes to income and racial disparities in health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-55
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Children and Poverty
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

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homelessness
health
hospitalization
event
housing
racial disparity
childhood
need for care
family
experience
kindergarten
health care
parents
utilization
income

Keywords

  • Homeless children
  • health status disparities
  • health-care disparities
  • life stress

Cite this

Adversity and children experiencing family homelessness : implications for health. / Cutuli, J. J.; Ahumada, Sandra M.; Herbers, Janette E.; Lafavor, Theresa L.; Masten, Ann S; Oberg, Charles N.

In: Journal of Children and Poverty, Vol. 23, No. 1, 02.01.2017, p. 41-55.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cutuli, J. J. ; Ahumada, Sandra M. ; Herbers, Janette E. ; Lafavor, Theresa L. ; Masten, Ann S ; Oberg, Charles N. / Adversity and children experiencing family homelessness : implications for health. In: Journal of Children and Poverty. 2017 ; Vol. 23, No. 1. pp. 41-55.
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