The incorporation of Hispanics into the US health system considering the roles of nativity, duration, and citizenship: a case of acculturation?

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2004
Authors
Durden, Tracie Elizabeth
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The purpose of this dissertation is to examine differences in access to and sources of health care for adults and children among major Hispanic sub-populations of the United States in comparison to non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks, while considering the influences of nativity, citizenship and the length of time lived in the United States. Using the National Health Interview Survey from 1999-2001, logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression models are estimated to compare Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Other Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks with non-Hispanic Whites. For access to a regular source of care among the adult sample, Mexican American and Other Hispanic adults were less likely to report access to a regular source of care in comparison to Non-Hispanic whites. In comparison, Cuban American adults are not significantly different from Non-Hispanic whites in reporting access to a regular source of care while Puerto Rican adults are more likely to report access to a regular source of care. Among the child sample, only Mexican American children are significantly different from the reference, as they are less likely to report access to a regular source of care in comparison to Non-Hispanic whites. For sources of regular health care in the adult sample, Mexican American, Puerto Rican and Other Hispanic adults were much more likely than Non-Hispanic whites to report the use of a clinic and the emergency room as their source of regular medical care. Similarly, Mexican American and Other Hispanic children were both less likely to report a private doctor’s office than other types of care in comparison to Non-Hispanic whites. The acculturation variables of nativity, duration and citizenship contribute greatly to the incorporation of various Hispanic groups into the U.S medical system. Together, the impact of nativity, duration and citizenship explain much of the differentials in access to a regular source of care among Hispanic sub-groups in comparison to Non-Hispanic whites.

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