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Soc Sci Q. 2009 Dec 1;90(5):1089-1111.

Stress, Allostatic Load and Health of Mexican Immigrants.

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  • 1University of Illinois and NBER.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether the cumulative impact of exposure to repeated or chronic stressors as measured by allostatic load, contributes to the "unhealthy assimilation" effects often observed for immigrants with time in the United States.

METHODS:

We analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994, to estimate multivariate logistic regression models of the odds of having a high allostatic load score among Mexican immigrants, stratified by adult age group, according to length of residence in US, controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and health input covariates.

RESULTS:

Estimates indicate that 45-60 year old Mexican immigrants have lower allostatic load scores upon arrival than US-born Mexican Americans, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic Blacks, and that this health advantage is attenuated with duration of residence in the US.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings of our analysis are consistent with the hypothesis that repeated or chronic physiological adaptation to stressors is one contributor to the "unhealthy assimilation" effect observed for Mexican immigrants.

PMID:
21165158
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3001634
Free PMC Article
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