Few studies have assessed healthcare experiences in apparently healthy adolescents, or whether healthcare attitudes are linked to the two leading adolescent health indicators, smoking and obesity. Even fewer have examined these relationships in adolescent immigrant groups or made comparisons to adolescent non-immigrants. Using a cross-sectional study, healthcare experiences were compared among three groups of adolescents (n = 589) including Russian immigrants (n = 154), Ethiopian immigrants (n = 54), and non-immigrants (n = 381). Bootstrap estimates indicated positive healthcare experiences were less common among Russian adolescent immigrants (OR = 0.38, CI = 0.17, 0.86) compared to non-immigrants, unless the Russian adolescent immigrants reported above average socioeconomic status, in which case they were more likely than non-immigrant adolescents to report positive healthcare experiences (OR = 3.22, CI = 1.05, 9.85). Positive healthcare experiences were less likely among adolescents who were smokers (OR = 0.50, CI = 0.27, 0.91), and more likely for adolescents with a normal or low BMI (OR = 3.16, CI = 1.56, 6.40) and for those relying on parents for health information (OR = 1.97, CI = 1.05, 3.70). Conclusion: Findings suggest a social gradient in which positive healthcare experiences were more common among adolescence with higher socioeconomic status for some immigrants (Russian adolescents) but not for others. The two leading health indicators were related to healthcare experiences, but as adolescent smokers were less likely to have positive healthcare experiences, proactive efforts are needed to engage this group.What is Known:• Health indicators (such as obesity) and healthcare attitudes are linked to healthcare service use among adolescents sampled from outpatient and inpatient populations.What is New:• A social gradient involving socioeconomic status and being an adolescent immigrant was found regarding risky health indicators (i.e., smoking, use of internet as the primary source of health information).• Problematic health indicators, such as smoking, is linked to less positive healthcare attitudes in apparently healthy adolescents (both immigrants and non-immigrants).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Source of funding This work was supported by the European Union under the Marie Curie Career Reintegration Grant #303525. The funding source had no involvement in the collection, analysis or interpretation of data, in the writing of the article or in the decision to submit it for publication.
© 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
- Health experiences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health