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Factors Influencing Low Prevalence of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Among US Hispanic/Latino Children

Abstract

Objectives

Hispanic/Latino (H/L) children have lower prevalence of neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) than other groups. The explanations for this are complex, but may be related to nativity, language barriers, and lack of access to and utilization of healthcare. Previous research focused on how these factors affect children with NDD, but little research has jointly examined whether these factors predict NDD. This study examines whether social and environmental factors explain low prevalence of NDD in this population.

Methods

This study uses nationally representative Integrated Public Use Microdata Series National Health Interview Survey data (N = 200,622) and multivariate logistic regression analysis to compare NDD prevalence in white and H/L children (average age of 10.2), and examines whether nativity, healthcare access, healthcare utilization, and language barriers explain this disability disparity.

Results

Findings reveal that the H/L NDD disparity is not explained by differences in access to or utilization of healthcare, or as a result of language differences that may create barriers to NDD diagnosis. While H/L children whose sampled adult was born in the USA have lower rates of NDD than whites, H/Ls whose sampled adult were not born in the USA have even lower probability of NDD than H/Ls who were born in the USA.

Conclusions

These findings may be a result of cultural differences in knowledge or understanding of what constitutes a disability or the result of differential treatment within the healthcare system among H/Ls. The findings underscore the importance of accessible and culturally appropriate health and clinical care interventions among H/L communities.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Rob Warren for his helpful feedback.

Funding

This study was supported by the Minnesota Population Center (P2C HD041023) funded through a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development [101].

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Correspondence to Sarah Garcia.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 4 Logistic regressions indicating associations between ethnicity/nativity and each specific NDD for children age 0–18 years old, 1997–2006 and 2008–2017 pooled
Table 5 Logistic regressions indicating associations between ethnicity/nativity and NDD for children age 0–18 years old
Table 6 Negative binomial regression indicating associations between ethnicity/nativity and an indexed NDD for children age 0–18 years old, 1997–2006 and 2008–2017 pooled, N = 199,404

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Garcia, S., Hall-Lande, J. & Nye-Lengerman, K. Factors Influencing Low Prevalence of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Among US Hispanic/Latino Children. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 6, 1107–1121 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-019-00613-9

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Keywords

  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Racial and ethnic disparities
  • Health disparities
  • Healthcare