Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume 19, Number 2, May 2008
pp. 428-441 | 10.1353/hpu.0.0017
Latino children use fewer professional dental services and experience more dental decay than non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black children. This study tested the association between four types of social support (information, influence, material aid, emotional aid) and dental use among children of Latina immigrants in North Carolina. Latina mothers age 15–44 years (N=174) were sampled from four counties using a multistage church-based sampling design. Each mother reported dental care use for her oldest child younger than 11 years of age. Instrumental aid (information) alone was not associated with dental care use, but receiving any of the other types of social support was associated with dental care use at the bivariate level (p<.01) and at the multivariate level (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 1.67–5.87). Over half of the women (65.2%) received at least one of these forms of social support. Interventions expanding dental-related social support could help Latina immigrant mothers overcome barriers to dental care for their children.