Kelsey Houghton

Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-8-2013

Major Department or Program



Keith Farrington


This thesis explores the ways in which a number of demographic variables such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, culture, and nationality intersect and interact on multiple levels to determine health care service utilization among SOS Clinic patients. Even though SOS Clinic services are free, service utilization is currently low among patients with chronic conditions. A combination of survey and observational research methods are used to answer the following questions: To what extent does acculturation (or lack thereof) act as a barrier to health care for SOS Clinic patients? Are acculturation levels primary factors that affect service utilization at the SOS Clinic, or do other demographic variables relate more significantly to health seeking behavior? Findings suggest that acculturation levels, race, and ethnicity have greater effects and SOS Clinic patients’ health care seeking attitudes and behavior than other demographic variables such as class or gender. Ultimately, this research helps identify potential strategies for increasing effective service utilization of SOS Clinic services despite limited resources.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Health Care Costs, Hispanic Americans -- Health & Welfare -- Latinos, Socioeconomic status -- Family socioeconomic level -- Lower class, Health care facilities, manpower and services -- Utilization, Capital -- Cultural capital, Social status -- Economic conditions, Health services accessibility -- SOS Clinic, Walla Walla (Wash.), Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2013 -- Sociology Department

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Document Type

Whitman Community Accessible Thesis

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