Document Type


Publication Date

January 2005


Work and family, Mentally ill children -- Services for, Parents of mentally ill children, Structural equation modeling


We explored the relationship between school-age children's emotional and behavioral symptoms and workforce participation of their family caregivers using structural equation modeling. Secondary analysis of data from the national evaluation of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program was performed with a subsample of 2,585 caregivers. Findings from structural equation modeling indicated that higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms were significant predictors of more frequent school absences, less adequate childcare, and greater caregiver strain related to missing work. In turn, more adequate childcare and greater caregiver strain from missed work were associated with lower likelihood of workforce participation. Further research on labor force participation and increased family support is necessary to improve work—life integration for caregivers of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Future investigations should examine caregiver employment as a standard family outcome.


This manuscript was originally published in 2005 in the Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 13(4), 237-246. The official copy of record is available at

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Social Work Commons