Latino Adolescent-Mother Language Concordance, Neighborhood Deprivation, and Vaccinations in Community Health Centers

Matern Child Health J. 2023 Nov;27(11):2026-2037. doi: 10.1007/s10995-023-03742-0. Epub 2023 Jul 19.


Introduction: Latino adolescents may face numerous barriers) to recommended vaccinations. There is little research on the association between Latino adolescent-mother preferred language concordance and vaccination completion and if it varies by neighborhood. To better understand the social/family factors associated with Latino adolescent vaccination, we studied the association of adolescent-mother language concordance and neighborhood social deprivation with adolescent vaccination completion.

Methods: We employed a multistate, electronic health record (EHR) based dataset of community health center patients to compare three Latino groups: (1) English-preferring adolescents with English-preferring mothers, (2) Spanish-preferring adolescents with Spanish-preferring mothers, and (3) English-preferring adolescents with Spanish-preferring mothers with non-Hispanic white adolescent-mother pairs for human papilloma virus (HPV), meningococcal, and influenza vaccinations. We adjusted for mother and adolescent demographics and care utilization and stratified by the social deprivation of the family's neighborhood.

Results: Our sample included 56,542 adolescent-mother dyads. Compared with non-Hispanic white dyads, all three groups of Latino dyads had higher odds of adolescent HPV and meningococcal vaccines and higher rates of flu vaccines. Latino dyads with Spanish-preferring mothers had higher vaccination odds/rates than Latino dyads with English-preferring mothers. The effects of variation by neighborhood social deprivation in influenza vaccination rates were minor in comparison to differences by ethnicity/language concordance.

Conclusion: In a multistate analysis of vaccinations among Latino and non-Latino adolescents, English-preferring adolescents with Spanish-preferring mothers had the highest completion rates and English-preferring non-Hispanic white dyads the lowest. Further research can seek to understand why this language dyad may have an advantage in adolescent vaccination completion.

Keywords: Adolescents; Hispanic-Latino; Vaccination.

Plain language summary

Latino adolescents may face numerous barriers to preventive care—especially routine immunizations, but analyses often focus on single or few factors that may affect the utilization of these services. Our analysis of not only the language preference of Latino adolescents, but the preferred language of their mothers and their neighborhood social adversity demonstrates that English-preferring Latino adolescents with Spanish preferring mothers were most likely to utilize all immunizations we studied, and there were differences in utilization among Latino families by language concordance. This adds to our knowledge of Latino adolescent health care utilization by demonstrating the differences in Latino families, and suggesting that many of these families may have assets for service utilization from which we can learn.