Maternal Paid Leave Benefits and the Use of Pediatric Preventive Health Services: An Instrumental Variable Analysis

Megan Shepherd-Banigan, University of Washington
Janice F. Bell, University of Washington
Anirban Basu, University of Washington
Cathryn Booth-LaForce, University of Washington
Jeff Harris, University of Washington

This study uses data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (n=3,369) to examine whether paid leave and work intensity are associated with receipt of recommended well child visits, general dental exams, preventive dental care, vision screening obesity screening, and flu shots among US children aged 0-17 years. We used residual inclusion instrumental variable models to test this relation. We found that fewer than half of all children received the recommended number of well-child visits and dental exams. Paid sick leave predicted a statistically significant increase in the marginal probability of complying with recommended well-child visits (0.17; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.26), dental exams (0.14; 95% CI: 0.009, 0.27), and preventive dental care (0.18; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.29). Paid vacation leave was not associated with an increased probability of pediatric preventive care use. Lower work intensity was associated with a higher probability of complying with well-child visits and annual flu shots.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households