An analysis of the association between parental acculturation and children's medication use

Byron Alexander Foster, Debra Read, Christina Bethell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We examined how Hispanic children, with stratification according to language to approximate acculturation, differed with respect to sociodemographic characteristics and medication use. We also examined how different factors were associated with the use of different classes of prescription medications. METHODS: We used data from the 2004 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey linked to the National Health Interview Survey. Independent variables were grouped as predisposing characteristics, enabling factors, perceived need, and evaluated need. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the impact of independent variables on the outcomes of overall and specific types of medication use. RESULTS: Hispanic, Spanish-interviewed children were less likely to have a usual source of care than were Hispanic, English-interviewed subjects. Both groups had lower odds of using any prescription medication, compared with white children, which was explained largely by having a usual source of care. The lower use of psychiatric medications in the Spanish-interviewed group was not explained by the independent variables, whereas the difference in the use of antibiotics was. CONCLUSIONS: There are differences between Hispanic children according to acculturation, and acculturation affects prescription medication use. These findings may be used to address more specifically the needs of Hispanic children, particularly mental health needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1152-1161
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Acculturation
  • Child health
  • Health care disparities
  • Hispanic
  • Prescription drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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