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Immigration and low birthweight in the US: The role of time and timing

  • Lisa M. Bates

    (Columbia University)

  • Julien O. Teitler

    (Columbia University)

Registered author(s):

    The literature exploring the health consequences of immigration is largely dominated by efforts to replicate, across outcomes and populations, and explain two widely observed findings: that foreign nativity is protective (yielding the “healthy migrant effect” or “immigrant paradox”) and that the health advantage of immigrants diminishes over time in the host country. In this study, we focus on the second of these patterns and provide evidence that a lifecourse perspective can help to explain the apparent deterioration in health by incorporating attention to immigrants’ timing of arrival. We examine the role of immigrants’ exposure to the US, in terms of both age at immigration and length of residence, in shaping birthweight, a well measured and consequential marker of health, and maternal smoking, an important risk factor for low birthweight.

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    File URL: http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP08-15-FF.pdf
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    Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1085.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp08-15-ff
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    1. Johansson, Leena Maria & Sundquist, Jan & Johansson, Sven-Erik & Bergman, B. O. & Qvist, Jan & Träskman-Bendz, Lil, 1997. "Suicide among foreign-born minorities and native Swedes: An epidemiological follow-up study of a defined population," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 181-187, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Abraído-Lanza, Ana F. & Chao, Maria T. & Flórez, Karen R., 2005. "Do healthy behaviors decline with greater acculturation?: Implications for the Latino mortality paradox," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(6), pages 1243-1255, September.
    4. Evenson, Kelly R. & Sarmiento, Olga L. & Ayala, Guadalupe X., 2004. "Acculturation and physical activity among North Carolina Latina immigrants," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 2509-2522, December.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Is the New Immigration Less Skilled Than the Old?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 168-92, April.
    6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    7. N. Ryder, 1964. "The process of demographic translation," Demography, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 74-82, March.
    8. 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.
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    10. 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.
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    12. Gordon-Larsen, Penny & Harris, Kathleen Mullan & Ward, Dianne S. & Popkin, Barry M., 2003. "Acculturation and overweight-related behaviors among Hispanic immigrants to the US: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(11), pages 2023-2034, December.
    13. 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.
    14. Kaplan, Mark S. & Marks, Gary, 1990. "Adverse effects of acculturation: Psychological distress among Mexican American young adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 1313-1319, January.
    15. Gutmann, M. C., 1999. "Ethnicity, alcohol, and acculturation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 173-184, January.
    16. Harley, Kim & Eskenazi, Brenda, 2006. "Time in the United States, social support and health behaviors during pregnancy among women of Mexican descent," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 3048-3061, June.
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