Using restricted data from the 2001–2014 California Health Interview Surveys, this research illuminates the role of legal status in health care among Mexican-origin children. The first objective is to provide a population-level overview of trends in health care access and utilization, along with the legal statuses of parents and children. The second objective is to examine the nature of associations between children’s health care and legal status over time. We identify specific status-based distinctions that matter and investigate how their importance is changing. Despite the continuing significance of child nativity for health care, the descriptive analysis shows that the proportion of Mexican-origin children who are foreign born is declining. This trend suggests a potentially greater role of parental legal status in children’s health care. Logistic regression analyses demonstrate that the importance of parental legal status varies with the health care indicator examined and the inclusion of child nativity in models. Moreover, variation in some aspects of children’s health care coalesced more around parents’ citizenship than documentation status in the past. With one exception, the salience of such distinctions has dissipated over time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law