Trends in and Determinants of Race/Ethnic Health Disparities among U.S. Children: Contemporary Evidence from the 1997-2009 National Health Interview Survey

Neil Mehta, Emory University
Hedy Lee, University of Washington
Kelly Ylitalo, University of Michigan

We investigate contemporary trends in race/ethnic disparities in U.S. child health using the 1997-2009 National Health Interview Survey. Recent demographic trends highlight the increasing racial and ethnic diversity within the U.S., and these demographic shifts have produced more varied and complex identities among children. Prior studies on U.S. children have largely ignored foreign-born status and multi-racial identities and have tended to evaluate specific illnesses. While attention to specific health conditions has important relevancies for targeted public health interventions, it is also important to assess multiple indicators of child health status to understand how the overall health of children is changing over time and to examine race/ethnic disparities across multiple domains of health. We describe recent trends in race/ethnic disparities, investigate patterns by the nativity status of parents and children, and examine possible determinants of child health disparities, focusing on the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of parents and families.

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Presented in Session 195: Child Health Inequalities