Children’s Mental-Health Language Access Laws: State Factors Influence Policy Adoption

  • Mary Schmeida
  • Ramona McNeal
Original Article


Despite federal legislation to equalize healthcare for children with limited English language proficiency, some state healthcare agencies and programs fall short in providing children’s linguistic services for mental healthcare. While some states have been aggressive in passing cultural and linguistic laws aimed at providing protection for children, other states have not, limiting children of all ages to potential substandard care. This research uses state-level data and multivariate regression analysis to explore why some states are adopting these laws, whereas others are not. We find two dissimilar forces with unrelated goals must work in tandem to bring about policy change—the desire of civil rights and liberty groups to ensure equality in the delivery of healthcare services, and the desire of state legislature to reduce healthcare costs.


Children’s language laws Limited English proficiency Mental-health public policy Equitable healthcare access Multivariate regression analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Northern IowaCedar FallsUSA

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