Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 415–423 | Cite as

Language and Immigrant Status Effects on Disparities in Hispanic Children’s Health Status and Access to Health Care



The objective of this study is to estimate Hispanic/non-Hispanic (nH)-white health disparities and assess the extent to which disparities can be explained by immigrant status and household primary language. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health was funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics as a module of the State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey. We calculated disparities for various health indicators between Hispanic and nH-white children, and used logistic regression to adjust them for socio-economic and demographic characteristics, primary language spoken in the household, and the child’s immigrant status. Controlling for language and immigrant status greatly reduces health disparities, although it does not completely eliminate all disparities showing poorer outcomes for Hispanic children. English-speaking and nonimmigrant Hispanic children are more similar to nH-white children than are Hispanic children in non-English speaking households or immigrant children. Hispanic/nH-white health disparities among children are largely driven by that portion of the Hispanic population that is either newly-arrived to this country or does not speak primarily English in the household.


Child Health disparities Language barriers Immigrant health 



National Survey of Children’s Health


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Socio-economic status


Special health care needs


Metropolitan statistical area


Emotional, behavioral and developmental



The findings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Conflicts of interest

No conflict of interest declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA)  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Health Interview StatisticsNational Center for Health StatisticsHyattsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Division of Health Interview StatisticsNational Center for Health StatisticsHyattsvilleUSA

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