Home > Funded Projects > (SDAS) Trends in Racial and Ethnic Health Care Disparities for Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
(SDAS) Trends in Racial and Ethnic Health Care Disparities for Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Project Number: R40 MC 26192 Grantee: Brandeis University Department/Center: Lurie Inst for Disability Policy/Heller School Project Date: 9/1/2013
Susan Parish, PhD Professor and Director, Lurie Institute 415 South Street, MS 035 Waltham, MA 02453-2728 Phone: 781-736-3928 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toddlerhood (1-2 years)
Early Childhood (3-5 years)
Middle Childhood (6-11 years)
Adolescence (12-18 years)
Numerous US policy objectives call for research and interventions to reduce racial/ethnic health care disparities. However, few studies have addressed this important issue for children in general, and only three studies have examined racial/ethnic health care disparities for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. In our previous research, we found that there were significant disparities in the health care access, health care quality and service utilization of Black and Latino children with autism and other developmental disabilities, and the situation was particularly poor for Latino children. Although our research has established that these disparities exist, little other evidence exists about the general trend in such disparities. Is the system of care improving for Black and Latino children with autism and other developmental disabilities? To address this overarching questions, the proposed study has three aims: (1) To describe longitudinal population trends and correlates of racial and ethnic health care disparities of Black
and Latino children with autism/DD; and (2) To identify longitudinal trends and correlates of
health care disparities among Latino children of Spanish- and English-speaking parents. The three major outcomes we will analyze include: (a) health care access; (b) health care service utilization; and (c) health care quality.
It is important to examine longitudinal population changes in health care access, service
utilization and quality of care over the past 10 years because of several major initiatives that have been implemented to reduce racial and ethnic health care disparities, as well as improve the care of children with autism and other special health care needs. Taken on balance, we hypothesize that these initiatives will have improved the health care access, service utilization and quality of care received by Black children with autism/DD. However, the lack of insurance of Latino children, and the language barriers faced by many Latino families leads us to hypothesize that significant gains were not realized over the past decade for these children. Additionally, Latino immigrants are more likely to face language barriers.
The study will specifically determine whether patterns of racial/ethnic disparities persist after
controlling for socioeconomic status, severity of impairment, and health insurance status.
Identifying trends in racial and ethnic disparities in the health care of vulnerable children with
autism and other developmental disabilities is imperative as a first step in developing
interventions that effectively promote optimal development of vulnerable children with autism.
To conduct these analyses, we will use existing data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (2005/06 and 2010/11) and the National Survey of Children’s Health (2003, 2007, and 2012). Study results will be published in two or more peer-reviewed journals, presented at four scientific or policy meetings, and disseminated via fact sheets and podcasts.
Autism, Access to Health Care , Developmental Disabilities, Health Disparities , Health Care Utilization , Immigrant Populations