Graduation Date

5-2020

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree

Bachelor of Science

Primary Major

Global Public Health

Second Major

Psychology

Primary Minor

Spanish

Program Director

Patti Culross, MPH, MD

Thesis Advisor

Michaela George, MPH, phD and Veronica Fhruit, PhD

Abstract

Background

In the United States, patients who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) report having more problems communicating with their children’s doctor which leads to these children having worse health care access than those who have parents with a High English Proficiency (HEP). Parents with LEP also experience discrimination in this setting which can lead to increased psychological distress. The goal of this study was to determine if the level of English Proficiency is associated to stress levels and discrimination among Latinx parents when they take their chidlren to the doctor.

Methods

Participants consisted of 22 Latinx parents (86.4% Mexican and 90.9% female) in the San Francisco Bay Area. They were asked to complete a pre-test and post-test about their stress levels before and after their participation in an interview. The interview asked about parents’ experiences taking their children to the doctor. After the interview, participants completed a survey about their English Fluency, perceived discrimination, and demographic questions.

Results

Regressions for both post-interview stress (R2 = 0.497, p > 0.05) and discrimination (R2 = 0.164, p > 0.05) were not significant. Qualitative results demonstrated that regardless of English proficency Latinx parents experience discrimination, a communication barrier, and negative feelings when taking their children to the doctor. Parents hope that in the future more interpreters will be available and that doctors will be more understanding.

Discussion

Public health practitioners should use Latinx parents’ aspirations to guide interventions to improve their overall experience. Making more interpreters available and providing diversity training to doctors will enhance better medical care for children and a positive experience for parents.

Available for download on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

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