Objective: To examine pediatricians’ attitudes toward public policies for low-income children and the advocacy efforts for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Methods: Data from the AAP Periodic Survey in October 2014 to March 2015 were used. Respondents ranked 1) attitudes toward government programs, and 2) attitudes toward AAP policies on: income support, housing, education, job training, food, and health care. Results were analyzed according to age, gender, practice location, practice region, type of practice setting, and percent of patients with economic hardship. Results: Response rate was 47% (n = 650). Most respondents reported that for children, the government should guarantee health insurance (88.9%), and food and shelter (90.0%). Most also reported that the government should guarantee health insurance (68.9%) and food and shelter (63.9%) for every citizen and to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves. There was variation among the level of support on the basis of practice setting. In multivariable analyses related to supporting the role of government for children and citizens, not being from the Northeast was associated with lower odds of support of children as well as citizens; primary care practices in rural areas were less supportive of government involvement related to all citizens but similar for children; and those younger than 40 and 50 to 59 years of age were more supportive of government guaranteeing enough to eat and a place to sleep for children. More than 55% supported the AAP advocating for income support, housing, education, and access to health care. Conclusions: Pediatricians strongly support government policies that affect child poverty and the provision of basic needs to families. This support should be used to inform professional organizations, advocates, and policy-makers focused on children and families.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health