Immigration and Health: Implications for Racial/Ethnic Differences in American Adult Health.

Rosanna Shuk Yin Lee, University of Washington

A renew concern has arise in the social demography literature that despite the continuous growth and advances in medicine and health technology, health disparities among American adults have expanded. Health disparities in the United States are confounded with racial/ethnic disparities, and are inherently linked to immigration as well. Immigrant health offers a potential explanation for the origins of health disparities in the United States. Understanding how immigrants’ health status prior to immigrant affects the subsequent health trajectory upon arrival and over the lifetime may shed some light on determinants of the significant racial/ethnic disparities among American adults today. Using the New Immigrant Survey, this paper investigates ‘the healthy immigrant effect’ by creating a structural equation model (SEM). The author finds that immigrant’s socio-economic and health status prior to migration to the U.S. have strong impacts on the socio-economic and health status upon arrival in the U.S.

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Presented in Poster Session 5