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Birthweight of children of immigrants by maternal duration of residence in the United States

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  • Teitler, Julien O.
  • Hutto, Nathan
  • Reichman, Nancy E.
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    Abstract

    A large literature on immigrant health in the U.S. has shown that immigrants tend to be healthier and live longer than both individuals who remain in their countries of origin and natives of their host countries who are of the same race or ethnicity. However, this immigrant health advantage appears to diminish with duration of residence in the U.S. Few studies of the effects of immigrants’ exposure to the U.S. have focused on perinatal health. This study used three contemporary national datasets to describe patterns in infant birthweight by maternal duration of residence in the U.S. For both immigrants overall and Hispanic immigrants in particular, rates of low birthweight appeared to decline over the first few years in the U.S. and increase thereafter. This curvilinear association was robust across the three datasets and deviates somewhat from the prevailing notion that immigrant health declines monotonically over time. Additionally, we found no evidence that prenatal substance use increased with duration of residence in the U.S.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 459-468

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:3:p:459-468

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    Related research

    Keywords: Birthweight; Low birthweight; USA; Immigration; Acculturation;

    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. Bruce Newbold, K., 2005. "Self-rated health within the Canadian immigrant population: risk and the healthy immigrant effect," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 1359-1370, March.
    2. Kelaher, Margaret & Jessop, Dorothy Jones, 2002. "Differences in low-birthweight among documented and undocumented foreign-born and US-born Latinas," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(12), pages 2171-2175, December.
    3. Guillermina Jasso & Douglas S. Massey & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2004. "Immigrant health: selectivity and acculturation," IFS Working Papers W04/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Zsembik, Barbara A. & Fennell, Dana, 2005. "Ethnic variation in health and the determinants of health among Latinos," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 53-63, July.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2006. "Immigrant Selection Systems and Immigrant Health," IZA Discussion Papers 2345, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2006. "Unhealthy assimilation: Why do immigrants converge to American health status levels?," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 337-360, May.
    7. McDonald, James Ted & Kennedy, Steven, 2004. "Insights into the 'healthy immigrant effect': health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 1613-1627, October.
    8. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2009. "Infant health production functions: what a difference the data make," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 761-782.
    9. Robert Kaestner & Jay A. Pearson & Danya Keene & Arline T. Geronimus, 2009. "Stress, Allostatic Load, and Health of Mexican Immigrants," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1089-1111.
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