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Soc Sci Med. 2014 Nov;120:118-25. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.015. Epub 2014 Sep 10.

A different look at the epidemiological paradox: self-rated health, perceived social cohesion, and neighborhood immigrant context.

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Department of Sociology, University of Missouri, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Sociology, Bowling Green State University, United States.


We use data from Waves 1 and 2 of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey to examine the effects of neighborhood immigrant concentration, race-ethnicity, nativity, and perceived cohesion on self-rated physical health. We limit our sample to adults whose addresses do not change between waves in order to explore neighborhood effects. Foreign-born Latinos were significantly less likely to report fair or poor health than African Americans and U.S.-born whites, but did not differ from U.S.-born Latinos. The main effect of immigrant concentration was not significant, but it interacted with nativity status to predict health: U.S.-born Latinos benefited more from neighborhood immigrant concentration than foreign-born Latinos. Perceived cohesion predicted health but immigrant concentration did not moderate the effect. Finally, U.S.-born Latinos differed from others in the way cohesion is associated with their health. Results are discussed within the framework of the epidemiological paradox.


Cohesion; Ethnicity; Immigrants; Los Angeles County; Neighborhoods; Race; Self-rated health; USA

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