Understanding health-care access and utilization disparities among Latino children in the United States

Brent A. Langellier, Jie Chen, Arturo Vargas-Bustamante, Moira Inkelas, Alexander N. Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


It is important to understand the source of health-care disparities between Latinos and other children in the United States. We examine parent-reported health-care access and utilization among Latino, White, and Black children (≤17 years old) in the United States in the 2006–2011 National Health Interview Survey. Using Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, we portion health-care disparities into two parts (1) those attributable to differences in the levels of sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., income) and (2) those attributable to differences in group-specific regression coefficients that measure the health-care ‘return’ Latino, White, and Black children receive on these characteristics. In the United States, Latino children are less likely than Whites to have a usual source of care, receive at least one preventive care visit, and visit a doctor, and are more likely to have delayed care. The return on sociodemographic characteristics explains 20–30% of the disparity between Latino and White children in the usual source of care, delayed care, and doctor visits and 40–50% of the disparity between Latinos and Blacks in emergency department use and preventive care. Much of the health-care disadvantage experienced by Latino children would persist if Latinos had the sociodemographic characteristics as Whites and Blacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-144
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Access to care
  • Latinos
  • child health
  • health care
  • health disparities
  • race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pediatrics


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