Research Article| Volume 66, P57-63, September 2022

Examining child flourishing, family resilience, and adversity in the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health


      • Young children are able to flourish despite exposure to adversity.
      • Parent, family, and neighborhood support promote child flourishing.
      • When parents are emotionally supported, children are more likely to flourish.
      • Innovative pediatric primary care models may promote resilience and flourishing.



      Explore factors associated with flourishing and family resilience among children aged 6 months to 5 years old in the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH).

      Design and methods

      Cross-sectional analysis of the 2016 NSCH was conducted using Kleinman and Norton's Regression Risk Analysis method to derive adjusted risk measures for logistic regression models to assess factors contributing to (1) child flourishing and (2) child flourishing stratified between resilient and non-resilient families.


      In multivariable models, resilient families less often reported a child with two or more lifetime ACE exposures (ARD −0.11, 95% CI −0.15, −0.08), more likely to live in a supportive neighborhood (ARD 0.08, 95% CI 0.05,0.11), and more likely to report emotional support in raising children (ARD 0.07, 95% CI 0.12, 0.40). Accounting for ACE exposures, within resilient families, child flourishing was more likely when the child lived in a supportive neighborhood (ARD 0.09, 95% CI 0.03, 0.15), received care in a patient centered medical home (ARD 0.09, 95% CI 0.02,0.15), and when parents reported having emotional support in raising children (ARD 0.10, 95% CI 0.05, 0.17) Within non-resilient families, child flourishing was more likely when parents had emotional support in raising children (ARD 0.15, 95% CI 0.04,0.27).


      Promoting emotional support for parents may bolster family resilience and help young children to flourish despite adversity.

      Practice implications

      Further research and innovative models of care are needed to optimize the role of pediatric primary care in promoting safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children and families.


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