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Integrating social epidemiology into immigrant health research: A cross-national framework

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  • Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores
  • Sanchez-Vaznaugh, Emma V.
  • Viruell-Fuentes, Edna A.
  • Almeida, Joanna
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    Abstract

    Scholarship on immigrant health has steadily increased over the past two decades. This line of inquiry is often approached as a “specialty” topic involving a discrete de-contextualized population, rather than a topic that is central for understanding patterns of population health within and between sending and receiving countries. Frequently immigrant health research employs theoretical frameworks (e.g., acculturation) that emphasize cultural explanations, while less commonly utilized is the “social determinants of health” framework, which emphasizes social and structural explanations. Drawing upon literature in the fields of economics, sociology of immigration, and social epidemiology, we present a conceptual framework for understanding immigrant health from a cross-national perspective. We discuss the theoretical foundations of this framework; the methodological challenges for undertaking research on immigration and health using this framework; examples of emerging research in this area; and directions for future research. Progress in immigrant health research and population health improvements can be achieved through an enhanced understanding of population health patterns in sending and receiving societies. Immigrant health research needs to be better integrated into social epidemiology. Concurrently, immigrant health research offers conceptual, empirical, and analytic opportunities to advance social epidemiological research. Together, scholarship in immigrant health and social epidemiology can make significant contributions toward one of their mutual and ultimate goals: to improve knowledge about population health.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 12 ()
    Pages: 2060-2068

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:12:p:2060-2068

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    Related research

    Keywords: Immigration; Immigrant health; Social epidemiology; Cross-national; Lifecourse; Transnationalism;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Gong, Fang & Xu, Jun & Fujishiro, Kaori & Takeuchi, David T., 2011. "A life course perspective on migration and mental health among Asian immigrants: The role of human agency," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1618-1626.
    2. Buttenheim, Alison & Goldman, Noreen & Pebley, Anne R. & Wong, Rebeca & Chung, Chang, 2010. "Do Mexican immigrants "import" social gradients in health to the US?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(7), pages 1268-1276, October.
    3. Neeraj Kaushal, 2009. "Adversities of acculturation? Prevalence of obesity among immigrants," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 291-303.
    4. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
    5. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
    6. Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores & Bates, Lisa M. & Osypuk, Theresa L. & McArdle, Nancy, 2010. "The effect of immigrant generation and duration on self-rated health among US adults 2003-2007," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(6), pages 1161-1172, September.
    7. Alberto Palloni & Elizabeth Arias, 2004. "Paradox lost: Explaining the hispanic adult mortality advantage," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 385-415, August.
    8. Chauvet, Lisa & Gubert, Flore & Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine, 2008. "Are Remittances More Effective Than Aid To Improve Child Health? An Empirical Assessment using Inter and Intra-Country Data," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10707, Paris Dauphine University.
    9. Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores & Soobader, Mah-J. & Berkman, Lisa F., 2007. "Low birthweight among US Hispanic/Latino subgroups: The effect of maternal foreign-born status and education," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 2503-2516, December.
    10. Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores & Pan, Jocelyn & Jun, Hee-Jin & Osypuk, Theresa L. & Emmons, Karen M., 2005. "The effect of immigrant generation on smoking," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(6), pages 1223-1242, September.
    11. Viruell-Fuentes, Edna A. & Miranda, Patricia Y. & Abdulrahim, Sawsan, 2012. "More than culture: Structural racism, intersectionality theory, and immigrant health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2099-2106.
    12. Shawn Kanaiaupuni & Katharine Donato, 1999. "Migradollars and mortality: The effects of migration on infant survival in Mexico," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 339-353, August.
    13. Viruell-Fuentes, Edna A., 2007. "Beyond acculturation: Immigration, discrimination, and health research among Mexicans in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(7), pages 1524-1535, October.
    14. Cathy Zimmerman & Ligia Kiss & Mazeda Hossain, 2011. "Migration and Health: A Framework for 21st Century Policy-Making," Working Papers id:4174, eSocialSciences.
    15. Hunt, L.M.Linda M. & Schneider, Suzanne & Comer, Brendon, 2004. "Should "acculturation" be a variable in health research? A critical review of research on US Hispanics," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 973-986, September.
    16. Sanchez-Vaznaugh, Emma V. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Subramanian, S.V. & Sánchez, Brisa N. & Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores, 2008. "Differential effect of birthplace and length of residence on body mass index (BMI) by education, gender and race/ethnicity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(8), pages 1300-1310, October.
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