Predicting Latino adolescents' dental exam occurrence
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Dental health is considered an indicator of overall health and may impact specific health areas such as socioemotional well-being. Though considerable dental health and dental health care disparities have been found among Latino adolescents, few studies have examined this group exclusively to discover what may predict the occurrence of dental exams. This study used nationally representative data from Wave I of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in logistic regression models to estimate what factors may contribute to the Latino adolescent participants (n = 3,525) lacking a dental exam in the past year and since birth. The logistic regression models included adolescent, parent/adult caregiver, and household characteristics as control variables and adolescent country of birth and tobacco use as independent variables. Analyses support past findings of adolescent age, adolescent insurance status, and parent level of education being associated significantly with an increased risk of not receiving dental exams. These results extend previous findings regarding Latino dental health care by reporting dental exam disparities by Latino national subgroup.
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