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The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between healthcare use and children’s healthcare needs as assessed from the perspectives of children themselves, parents, and healthcare practitioners.We conducted a prospective cohort study in which service use was monitored for the 12 months before and after administration of a health survey.We studied 384 parents and children aged 6 to 11 years enrolled for 2 years in a northern California health maintenance organization or a Medicaid managed care program in Rhode Island.Child and parent perspectives on needs were determined using the Child Health and Illness Profile, Child Edition (CHIP-CE). Plan administrative data were used to develop a treated morbidity index, which was based on diagnosis codes recorded by practitioners during the year before the survey and to obtain prospective measures of service use.For both child- and parent-respondents, low satisfaction and comfort scale scores from the CHIP-CE were significant predictors of number of visits. CHIP-CE domain scales unrelated to future use were risk avoidance, resilience, and achievement. Multivariable regression using CHIP-CE information collected from children explained more variation in total physician visits than models that used parent-respondent data. The treated morbidity index was a weaker predictor of physician visits than the CHIP-CE scale scores. None of the domain scales were significant predictors of any emergency department use or any specialist use; however, the treated morbidity index was associated with any specialist use.A child’s sense of well-being and burden of symptoms predict future use. Perceived healthcare needs, as assessed by the CHIP-CE, is a better predictor of children’s service use than evaluated needs as assessed by physician-diagnosed disorders. Our results support the validity of using the responses of children aged 6 to 11 years as a measure of need for future health care.