Original Articles: PDF OnlyTessler Richard; Mechanic, DavidMedical Care: January 1978 - p 33-46 Buy Abstract This paper examines factors affecting children's use of physician services in a prepaid group practice. The independent measures come from questions asked of mothers in a survey interview, while the utilization data come from their children's medical records. All independent variables were measured prior to the period of utilization studied. The results provide some evidence in support of the view that physician utilization for children is affected by characteristics of the mother, as well as the child's age and health status. Somewhat different variables were related to whether health services were used at all as compared with magnitude of use. Special consideration is given to the effect of the mother's level of psychological distress on her propensity to use medical services for children. The results suggest that distress was relevant, but only for the white families included in the sample. Also, distress was more important in explaining extent of use than accounting for whether utilization occurred at all. Various hypotheses are examined to explore whitenonwhite differences. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.