Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 155–165 | Cite as

Parental Nativity Affects Children’s Health and Access to Care

  • Andrea C. WeathersEmail author
  • Scott P. Novak
  • Narayan Sastry
  • Edward C. Norton
Original Paper


Objective To examine the effect of parental nativity on child health and access to health care. Data Source The 2002 National Survey of America’s Families. Results Among US children, 14% have foreign-born parents; 5% have one foreign- and one native-born parent (“mixed-nativity”). In multivariate logistic regression analyses, children with foreign-born parents were less likely than children with US-born parents to be perceived in “very good” or “excellent health” [OR = 0.68; 95% CI (0.56–0.82)] and to have a usual health care site [OR = 0.52 (0.38–0.69)]; having mixed-nativity parents is associated with better perceived child health. These effects persisted for minority, but not white, children. Regardless of race and ethnicity, non-citizen children have worse access to care. Conclusion Efforts to improve children of immigrants’ health and access to care should focus on families in which both parents are immigrants, particularly those who are ethnic or racial minorities. Efforts to increase use of health services should focus on non-citizen children.


Child health access Immigrants Latino health Child health 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Health Services Research Administration and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau for this study (Award No. R40MC05470A0-01-01). I also gratefully acknowledge the tireless input of my co-authors in the development of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea C. Weathers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Scott P. Novak
    • 2
  • Narayan Sastry
    • 3
  • Edward C. Norton
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Maternal and Child HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public HealthChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Division of Health Social and Economic ResearchResearch Triangle InstituteResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Policy and AdministrationUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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