Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2000


Published in Great Plains Research 10 (Fall 2000): 275-94. Copyright © 2000 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Using interviews conducted in two Nebraska communities, we illustrate health-care challenges for Latinos in meat-processing communities. Two hundred twenty-one Latinos (48% male), primarily of Mexican descent, were interviewed face-to-face by bilingual interviewers. Fifteen percent of the respondents are between the ages of 20 and 24, 75% are between 25 and 44, and 10% are between 45 and 64. Nearly half have lived in the United States for five or fewer years. Aday's (1993) framework for predicting populations at risk is used to identify factors affecting health status and utilization. These factors include measures of human capital, social status, and social capital. It is found that barriers to utilization include, among others, transportation, lack of understanding of the health-care system, income, insurance, inconvenient office hours or location, and distrust of doctors. Variables significantly affecting health status include age, length of residence, and perceived racism. Policy recommendations are considered based on the findings.