Association of family structure with atopic dermatitis in US children

Costner McKenzie, Jonathan I. Silverberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Children from families without 2 married biologic parents have an increased risk of poverty and poor health. The relationship between family structure and atopic dermatitis (AD) has not been elucidated. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of AD and related outcomes in children from different family structures. Methods: Data on 13,275 children (age ≤17 years) and their parents from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed. Results: In multivariable logistic regression models adjusting for sociodemographic groups, children from single-adult households (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.272; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.050-1.542), families with 2 or fewer members (aOR, 1.413; 95% CI, 1.079-1.852), families with a mother but no father present (aOR, 1.402; 95% CI, 1.179-1.667), nonbiologic fathers (aOR, 1.464; 95% CI, 1.089-1.969), or unmarried mothers (aOR, 1.508; 95% CI, 1.017-2.237) had increased odds of AD. Among children with AD, there were significantly increased odds of having only good, fair, or poor versus very good or excellent overall health (aOR, 1.545; 95% CI, 1.262-1.893) and greater odds of depression (aOR, 2.287; 95% CI, 1.523-3.434), anxiety (aOR, 2.001; 95% CI, 1.543-2.595), and stress (aOR, 2.013; 95% CI, 1.499-2.704). Limitations: Cross-sectional study. Conclusions: Children in the United States who are from families with single adults, single mothers, nonbiologic fathers, or unmarried mothers may have increased odds of AD. Family structures were associated with poorer overall health, depression, anxiety, and stress in children with AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-644.e4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • atopic dermatitis
  • disparities
  • divorce
  • food security
  • fragile homes
  • poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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