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Association of maternal characteristics with latino youth health insurance disparities in the United States: a generalized structural equation modeling approach

  • Alberto, Cinthya K.1
  • Pintor, Jessie Kemmick2
  • Langellier, Brent2
  • Tabb, Loni Philip2
  • Martínez-Donate, Ana P.2
  • Stimpson, Jim P.2
  • 1 Drexel University, 3600 Market St, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA , Philadelphia (United States)
  • 2 Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, 3215 Market St, Nesbitt Hall, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA , Philadelphia (United States)
Published Article
BMC Public Health
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jul 11, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-09188-1
Springer Nature


BackgroundDisparities in access to care persist for Latino youth born in the United States (US). The association of maternal characteristics, such as maternal citizenship status and insurance coverage, on youth health insurance coverage is unclear and is important to examine given the recent sociopolitical shifts occurring in the US.MethodsWe analyzed pooled cross-sectional data from the 2010–2018 National Health Interview Survey to examine the association of Latina maternal citizenship status on maternal insurance coverage status and youth uninsurance among US-born Latino youth. Our study sample consisted of 15,912 US-born Latino youth (ages < 18) with linked mothers. Our outcome measures were maternal insurance coverage type and youth uninsurance and primary predictor was maternal citizenship status. Generalized structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships between maternal characteristics (maternal citizenship, maternal insurance coverage status) and youth uninsurance.ResultsOverall, 7% of US-born Latino youth were uninsured. Just 6% of youth with US-born mothers were uninsured compared to almost 10% of those with noncitizen mothers. Over 18% of youth with uninsured mothers were uninsured compared to 2.2% among youth with mothers who had private insurance coverage. Compared to both US-born and naturalized citizen Latina mothers, noncitizen Latina mothers had 4.75 times the odds of reporting being uninsured. Once adjusted for predisposing, enabling, and need factors, maternal uninsurance was strongly associated with youth uninsurance and maternal citizenship was weakly associated with youth uninsurance among US-born Latino youth.ConclusionMaternal citizenship was associated with both maternal uninsurance and youth uninsurance among US-born Latino youth. Federal- and state-level health policymaking should apply a two-generational approach to ensure that mothers of children are offered affordable health insurance coverage, regardless of their citizenship status, thus reducing uninsurance among US-born Latino youth.

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