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Keywords:

  • family;
  • disability;
  • parent;
  • sibling;
  • stress;
  • resilience

Disability is part of life for most contemporary families, but to date the literature on disability in families is fragmented and narrow. This editorial commentary introduces the content and findings of peer-reviewed articles appearing in a special issue of Family Relations. The editors outline unanswered but core research questions and preview the themes present in the issue: families with disabilities are diverse; economic hardship disproportionately characterizes their lives; family life with disabilities is a journey that includes stress and resilience, with support contributing significantly to the latter; and that work benefits and taxes family life. Articles extrapolate beyond findings to explore implications for family policy and practice. The editors assert that developing understanding of how disability influences families requires a more diverse and rigorous research portfolio. They further cite the need to embed disability as a variable in a range of family studies and advocate more outlets for publication.