Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1093–1102

Acculturation Differences in Communicating Information About Child Mental Health Between Latino Parents and Primary Care Providers


    • Center for Multicultural Mental Health ResearchCambridge Health Alliance
    • Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical School
  • Jonathan D. Brown
    • Mathematica Policy Research
  • Stephen Loder
    • Center for Multicultural Mental Health ResearchCambridge Health Alliance
  • Larry Wissow
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10903-014-0010-2

Cite this article as:
Cook, B.L., Brown, J.D., Loder, S. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2014) 16: 1093. doi:10.1007/s10903-014-0010-2


Significant Latino-white disparities in youth mental health care access and quality exist yet little is known about Latino parents’ communication with providers about youth mental health and the role of acculturation in influencing this communication. We estimated regression models to assess the association between time in the US and the number of psychosocial issues discussed with the medical assistant (MA) and doctor, adjusting for child and parent mental health and sociodemographics. Other proxies of acculturation were also investigated including measures of Spanish and English language proficiency and nativity. Parent’s length of time in the US was positively associated with their communication of: their child’s psychosocial problems with their child’s MA, stress in their own life with their child’s MA, and their child’s school problems with their child’s doctor. These differences were especially apparent for parents living in the US for >10 years. Parent–child language discordance, parent and child nativity were also significantly associated with communication of psychosocial problems. Greater provider and MA awareness of variation in resistance to communicating psychosocial issues could improve communication, and improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of youth mental illness.


Children’s mental healthAcculturationPatient–provider communicationImmigrationLatino mental health

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014