Family resilience and connection promote flourishing among US children, even amid adversity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The outcome of flourishing and its predictors have not been well documented among US children, especially those who face adversity. Using data for 2016 and 2017 from the National Survey of Children’s Health, we determined the prevalence and predictors of flourishing among US children ages 6–17. A three-item index included indicators of flourishing: children’s interest and curiosity in learning new things, persistence in completing tasks, and capacity to regulate emotions. The national prevalence of flourishing was 40.3 percent (29.9–45.0 percent across states). At each level of adverse childhood experiences, household income, and special health care needs, the prevalence of flourishing increased in a graded fashion with increasing levels of family resilience and connection. Across the sectors of health care, education, and human services, evidence-based programs and policies to increase family resilience and connection could increase flourishing in US children, even as society addresses remediable causes of childhood adversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-737
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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