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Am J Public Health. 2010 Sep;100(9):1662-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.172742. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

Influence of maternal health literacy on child participation in social welfare programs: the Philadelphia experience.

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Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia-North, Room 1534, 34th and Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


We examined the influence of maternal health literacy on child participation in social welfare programs. In this cohort, 20% of the mothers had inadequate or marginal health literacy. Initially, more than 50% of the families participated in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Food Stamp Program, and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, whereas fewer than 15% received child care subsidies or public housing. In multivariate regression, TANF participation was more than twice as common among children whose mothers had adequate health literacy compared with children whose mothers had inadequate health literacy.

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