Race/ethnic inequities in conjoint monitoring and screening for U.S. children 3 and under

Brian Barger, Teal Benevides, Sabrin Rizk, Catherine Rice, Harry Heiman, Ashley Salmon, Sonia Sanchez-Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Non-White children with developmental disabilities are frequently identified later than White children and therefore miss out on opportunities for early intervention (EI). Recent research indicates that conjoint monitoring and screening is more strongly associated with EI receipt than monitoring or screening alone. Objective: To determine if there are racial/ethnic inequities in the conjoint receipt of monitoring and screening. Method: A series of survey weighted and stratified logistic regression analyses were conducted on National Surveys of Children's Health (2016–2018) data with conjoint monitoring and screening, screening alone, monitoring alone, and non-receipt as outcomes for children aged 9–23 months of age. The primary predictor was child race/ethnicity (Black, Hispanic, Other, and White). Additional co-variates included child (e.g., Age), caretaker/family (e.g., poverty level), healthcare (e.g., usual source of healthcare), state EI policies, and city metropolitan status. Results: Bivariate analyses indicated significant variation in conjoint monitoring and screening across racial/ethnic groups and covariates. Bivariate analyses showed that Black and Hispanic children had significantly lower odds of conjoint monitoring and screening receipt than White children. Multivariate analyses showed that this relationship was better accounted by co-variates. The health service variable, usual source of healthcare, had the strongest relationship with receipt of conjoint monitoring and screening. Conclusions: Black and Hispanic children are less likely to receive conjoint monitoring and screening than White children. Analyses investigating the role of usual source of healthcare seem particularly promising for understanding the sources of inequities in monitoring and screening receipt.

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