“Does this Look Infected to You?” Social Network Predictors of Dental Help-Seeking Among Mexican Immigrants

Erin Pullen, Brea L. Perry, Gerardo Maupome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Compared to U.S. born Latinos, Mexican immigrants (MAs) have diminished health care access and face substantial barriers to accessing needed dental health services. However, little research has examined how MAs social networks shape their use of dental health services. Using data from 332 Mexican immigrants to the Midwest, this research examines the significance of individual and egocentric network characteristics on two measures of dental health service utilization. Findings reveal that network size, network dental service utilization, and the frequency with which MAs discuss acute problems with network ties, positively correspond to use of oral health services. Conversely, embeddedness in networks where ties hassle egos about dental issues and have low levels of dental health knowledge correspond to lower odds of using these services. This research is among the first to use ego network data and methods to examine the ways network characteristics shape oral health behaviors among this underserved population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-409
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018



  • Emigrants and Immigrants
  • Health care utilization
  • Mexican Americans
  • Oral Health
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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