Immigrant Children’s Health Care Utilization: Inequalities across Metropolitan Destination Contexts

Deborah Roempke Graefe, Pennsylvania State University
Gordon F. De Jong, Pennsylvania State University
Stephanie Howe, Pennsylvania State University

Are Mexican children of immigrants more likely to utilize health care – routine medical and dentist visits – in new or traditional, and in high- or low-skill immigrant destination contexts in the U.S.? We investigate the effect of immigrant metropolitan destination type on immigrant child health care utilization based on an integrated contextual-ecological theoretical framework that incorporates traditional assimilation model patterns of immigrant families. Data on child health and family assimilation indicators from the 1996, 2001, and 2004 nationally representative panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation are merged with a newly developed typology of metropolitan destinations. Descriptive patterns of U.S.-born and Mexican-born children of Mexican immigrant parents demonstrate health care utilization inequalities across immigrant destination metropolitan areas. Multi-level multivariate logistic model results assess the effects of metropolitan destination type predictors on health care utilization inequalities, controlling for immigrant family characteristics.

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Presented in Session 174: Immigrant Health