Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 189–197 | Cite as

Using the Children with Special Health Care Needs Screener with Immigrant Families: An Analysis of the National Survey of Children’s Health

  • Clara Warden
  • Katherine YunEmail author
  • Wagahta Semere
Brief Communication


Children in immigrant families are less likely to screen positive with the Children with Special Health Care Needs Screener (CSHCN-S). This may indicate that children in immigrant families are healthier or require fewer health services than non-immigrant peers. Alternatively, the screener may under-identify special healthcare needs in this population. Using the 2011–2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, we examined the prevalence of a positive CSHCN-S among children from first, second, and third generation households with an equivalent number of currently diagnosed chronic conditions (0, 1, 2+). Multivariate analyses controlled for sociodemographic factors. Among children with an equivalent number of chronic conditions, fewer children from first and second generation households screened positive with the CSHCN-S relative to children from third generation households. This association remained after adjusting for covariates. The CSHCN Screener may under-identify children from immigrant households, allowing for missed opportunities to allocate health resources.


Disabled children/statistics and numerical data Emigrants and immigrants National Survey of Children’s Health Children with Special Health Care Needs 



We thank Leela Kuikel from the Bhutanese American Organization-Philadelphia and Wah Wah Kyaw from the Karen Community of Philadelphia for overseeing the work that prompted us to explore this research question. Dr. Yun is funded in part by NIH Grant K23HD082312.


The study was funded in part by NIH Grant K23HD082312.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PolicyLabChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Division of General PediatricsChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia & University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of General MedicineYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars ProgramVeterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare SystemWest HavenUSA

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