VIRTUAL - PRI Immigration Working Group

Date 04/01/20 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Presenter(s) Juliana Levchenko, Graduate Student, Sociology and Demography Program
Location VIRTUAL PRI Immigration Working Group
Event URL VIRTUAL PRI Immigration Working Group
Contact Jenny Van Hook
Contact Email

VIRTUAL - PRI Immigration Working Group

Presenter: Juliana Levchenko

"Aging into Disadvantage: The Disability Crossover among Mexican Immigrants"

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 ~ 12:00

PASSWORD: 011147

The “Hispanic paradox” refers to the accepted finding that Mexican migrants have lower mortality compared to the US-born population, despite having lower levels of income, educational attainment, and health insurance coverage. However, Mexican migrants’ mortality advantage is not matched by lower disability rates, particularly later in the life course. Past studies have identified a crossover in disability rates for Mexican migrants using age-specific disability rates but confound the effects of aging and duration of residence. By using the synthetic cohort method, I extend prior work by tracing migrant cohorts across the life course and disentangling newly arrived migrants from those already established in the U.S. I use American Community Survey (ACS) 2010-2014 data to test whether the acculturation or cumulative disadvantage hypotheses account for the disability crossover. I find that, contrary to the expected finding of a socioeconomic health gradient in disability rates, Mexican migrants’ high disability rates converge regardless of education level or migrant cohort. In addition, Mexican female migrants are doubly disadvantaged, living in a protracted period of disability compared to males of the same education level. My findings lend support to the view that negative health acculturation is the dominant pathway for Mexican migrants’ later-life disability trajectories.

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