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Am J Public Health. 2006 Aug;96(8):1449-55. Epub 2006 Jun 29.

Parental English proficiency and children's health services access.

Author information

1
Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Rockville, MD 20857, USA. syu@hrsa.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined the relation between parents' level of English proficiency and their children's access to health care.

METHODS:

Using the 2001 California Health Interview Survey, we conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses of several measures of children's access to health care (current health insurance status, usual source of care, emergency room visits, delayed or forgone care, traveling to another country for health care, and perceived discrimination in health care) and their association with parents' English proficiency.

RESULTS:

Compared with English-speaking households, children in non-English-speaking households were more likely to lack health insurance, to not have doctor contact, and to go to other countries for health care and were less likely to use emergency rooms. Their parents were less likely to report their children's experiencing delayed or forgone care or discrimination in health care.

CONCLUSION:

English proficiency is a strong predictor of access to health insurance for children, and children in non-English-speaking families are especially likely to rely on other countries for their health care. English proficiency may mitigate the effects of race/ethnicity commonly observed in health care access and utilization studies.

PMID:
16809589
PMCID:
PMC1522110
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2005.069500
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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