Session: Health Equity & Families (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

Health Equity & Families

Saturday, January 15, 2022: 12:30 PM-1:30 PM
Liberty Ballroom K, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
Katrina Ellis, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Ann Nguyen, PhD, Case Western Reserve University
Family is a source of resilience and strength in many marginalized communities. Due to historical and social factors, the definition of family is more expansive and diverse in marginalized communities, moving beyond the traditional nuclear family, which is the predominate focus of family research. Immediate and extended family members, as well as fictive kin (e.g., family of choice, play family) play a critical role in the health and well-being of these populations. Family support can buffer and/or mitigate the effects of life stress that contribute to physical and mental morbidities and health disparities. Family resources for managing illnesses amongst its members, and barriers to family disease management, are also critical to consider. A better understanding of family-level factors that influence the health of marginalized groups, and more nuanced approaches to conceptualizing and measuring these factors, can inform social work interventions and practice and efforts to reduce and eliminate health disparities.