Parental Nativity Affects Children’s Health and Access to Care
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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.
KeywordsChild 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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