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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3200.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 1:20 PM

Abstract #107346

U.S.-Born Latino children's health insurance: A product of parents' citizenship or acculturation?

Victoria D. Ojeda, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115 and E. Richard Brown, PhD, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 10911 Weyburn Ave, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90024, 310 794-0812, erbrown@ucla.edu.

Parents' citizenship appear to be correlated with high rates of uninsurance and low rates of job-based insurance among U.S.-born Latino children in families headed by citizens and noncitizens. Few studies have examined the direct relationship between parents' citizenship and children's insurance status. Some research suggests that acculturation processes among immigrant parents may also shape children's access to coverage. We also examine the impact of acculturation, as measured by duration of residency in the United States for each immigrant parent, on children's likelihood of being uninsured or among insured children, of having employer-sponsored insurance. Data for U.S.-born Latino and non-Latino white children ages 0-18 years in working two-parent households obtained from the March 2001 Current Population Survey were analyzed. Results from logistic regressions were adjusted for a design effect to account for survey design. After controlling for other sociodemographic and employment characteristics, only Latino children in families headed by noncitizen couples are more likely to be uninsured and less likely to have employer-based insurance than others in the dataset. Latino children benefit from having at least one citizen parent. Preliminary multivariate analyses reinforce the disadvantage of children residing with noncitizens, irrespective of parents' tenure in the U.S., and other data suggest that children do benefit from having a naturalized parent, particularly when that person is the head of the household. The effect of the household head's characteristics are particularly significant as compared to those of the spouse. Policies that target immigrants may affect their citizen children's access to health insurance. Additional efforts are needed to reduce uninsurance among citizen Latino youths and in low-wage working families where immigrants are likely to concentrate. Culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach activities may increase children's access to public and private coverage among monolingual Spanish-speaking families.

Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this presentation, participants will

Keywords: Access Immigration, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Sociocultural Determinants of Latino Health

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA