The Role of Health Care Access, Health Care Utilization, and Language Barriers in the Low Prevalence of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Among U.S Latino Children

Sarah Garcia , University of Minnesota

Latino/Hispanic children have substantially lower prevalence of neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) than other groups. The reasons for this appear to be complex, but are generally thought to be related to language barriers and lack of access to and utilization of healthcare services. Some researchers have examined these factors in Latino children with NDD, but none has examined whether these factors explain low prevalence of NDD in this population. This research uses nationally representative IPUMS-NHIS data to compare NDD prevalence in whites and Latinos and examines whether healthcare access and utilization as well as language barriers explain this disability disparity. The results show that healthcare access, healthcare utilization, and language barriers do not explain lower rates of NDD among Hispanic/Latino children. Cultural factors may be the reason for low NDD prevalence among Latino children in the United States.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth