Primary language spoken at home and disparities in the health and healthcare of US adolescents

May Lau, Hua Lin, Glenn Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined disparities in medical and oral health status, access to care, and use of services in a nationally representative sample of adolescents from non-English primary language (NEPL) homes. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were performed on the 2003 National Survey of Children'sHealth to identify disparities in 40 measures of health and healthcare for adolescents aged 10-17 years (n = 47 159). Among adolescents from non-English primary language homes, sub-analyses compared Latinos and Asian/Pacific Islanders with white adolescents.Comparedwith adolescents from English primary-language (EPL) homes, adolescents from NEPL homes experienced many disparities, including being more likely to have suboptimal health (47% vs. 14%), suboptimal dental condition (65% vs. 31%), no health insurance (32% vs. 7%), nopersonal doctor or nurse (42% vs. 15%), problems obtaining specialty care (44% vs. 22%), never having seen a dentist (5% vs. 1%), and no preventive medical (44% vs. 26%) or dental (17% vs. 6%) visit in the past year. Compared with white adolescentsfrom EPL homes, Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander adolescents fromNEPL homes experienced disparities in medical and oral health status, having a personal doctor or nurse, and dental visits. Most disparities persisted in multivariable analyses. Compared with adolescents from EPL homes, adolescents from NEPL homes experienced multiple disparities in health and healthcare. Among adolescents from NEPL homes, Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander adolescents experienced specific disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-280
Number of pages14
JournalDiversity and Equality in Health and Care
Volume9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Language
  • Minority groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

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