The Health Status and Health Care of Young Mexican American Children: The Influence of Parental Relationship Status

Robert A. Hummer, University of Texas at Austin
Erin R. Hamilton, University of Texas at Austin
Helen You, University of Texas at Austin
Yolanda C. Padilla, University of Texas at Austin

We comparatively analyze Mexican American child health and health care outcomes and assess whether the relatively high level of non-marital births among Mexican Americans has an impact on these outcomes. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study; our analysis includes 2,980 children whose mothers were interviewed both at time of birth and at the one-year follow-up. Results show that: 1) Mexican American children fare less favorably than white children across several health outcomes, but tend to fare more favorably than non-Hispanic black children; 2) 23.5% of Mexican American children have no health insurance coverage at all; and 3) Mexican American children of unmarried cohabiting parents do not seem to fare worse than, and in some cases fare better than, Mexican American children of married parents for the health outcomes. At the same time, Mexican American children of cohabiting parents display the least favorable health care distributions.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being