Health Status and Health Service Access and Use Among Children in U.S. Immigrant Families

MBBS, Department of International Health-NHS, Georgetown University, St. Mary's Hall 215, Box 571107, 3700 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, DC 20057, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 05/2006; 96(4):634-40. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.049791
Source: PubMed


We examined the health status and patterns of health care use of children in US immigrant families.
Data from the 1999 National Survey of America's Families were used to create 3 subgroups of immigrant children: US-born children with noncitizen parents, foreign-born children who were naturalized US citizens, and foreign-born children with noncitizen parents. Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were used to examine relationships between immigrant status and health access variables. Subgroup analyses were conducted with low-income families.
Foreign-born noncitizen children were 4 times more likely than children from native families to lack health insurance coverage and to have not visited a mental health specialist in the preceding year. They were 40% and 80% more likely to have not visited a doctor or dentist in the previous year and twice as likely to lack a usual source of care. US-born children with noncitizen parents were also at a disadvantage in many of these aspects of care.
We found that, overall, children from immigrant families were in worse physical health than children from non-immigrant families and used health care services at a significantly lower frequency.

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Available from: Rebecca Ledsky, Aug 20, 2015
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    • "Policies restricting or mystifying access have broad spillover effects on others in the same household. Despite U.S. citizen children's eligibility for benefits such as Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program, those with undocumented parents access benefits at a lower rate (Hagan, Rodriguez, Capps, & Kabiri, 2003; Huang, Yu, & Ledsky, 2006; Perreira et al., 2012). Fear of deportation and avoidance of institutions leads some mixed-status families to limit or delay services for children (Abrego & Menjívar, 2011; Yoshikawa, 2012), or withdraw from programs altogether (Hagan et al., 2003; Xu & Brabeck, 2012). "
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