Master of Arts (M.A.)
Degree Granting Department
Heide Castañeda, Ph.D.
Dinorah Martinez Tyson, Ph.D.
Daniel Lende, Ph.D.
Immigrant, Health, Equity, Access
This cross-sectional, comparative, qualitative study explored language-related issues experienced by low-income Spanish-speaking mothers navigating pediatric care for their children in Hillsborough County, Florida. Hospitals, pediatric clinics, specialists, and dental care have differing degrees of linguistic accessibility and accommodations for limited English proficient families. Two groups of mothers were interviewed: bilingual (n=9) and Spanish-speaking limited-English proficient (SSLEP) mothers (n=21). These groups perceived the effect of language on navigating pediatric healthcare differently, creating tension in perceptions and experience between them. Such tensions included SSLEP mothers expressing satisfaction with pediatric care simultaneously with shortcomings in communication. SSLEP mothers said that everything was easy, at the same time stating that navigating healthcare, and other aspects of their family life would be far easier if they spoke English. SSLEP expressions of self-sufficiency were countered by bilingual mothers who provided language support to SSLEP family members, friends, and strangers. This research points toward the need for consistent language services in healthcare settings as well as facilitation of effective English language acquisition opportunities for families.
Scholar Commons Citation
Walsh-Felz, Aria Anna, "(Not) Everything is Good and Easy: Language-related Healthcare Experiences of Two Groups of Low-income Latina Mothers" (2017). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.