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Health and migration: Latin Americans in the United States

Migration A–Z

H

  1. Fernando Riosmena and Warren C. Jochem

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm267

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Jochem, F. R. a. W. C. 2013. Health and migration: Latin Americans in the United States. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Latin American immigrants to the United States come from a variety of places and, thus, disease environments. As such, their health profiles differ considerably from those of individuals born in the United States (including those of people of Hispanic descent), though not necessarily in the way one might expect. Although foreign-born Latinos come from places with arguably less favorable health profiles relative to that of the United States, they exhibit better physical health than US-born non-Hispanic whites in many (but not all) measures, especially mortality (Cunningham et al. 2008). This finding is known as the Hispanic Health Paradox (HHP) because Latino immigrants tend to have lower average socioeconomic status, and social class generally has a strong and positive relationship with health (Adler & Ostrove 1999). Despite this (initial) advantage, the health of Hispanic immigrants also seems to worsen with their adaptation to the prevalent values, customs, and behaviors of the host society, a process known as negative acculturation (Lara et al. 2005).

Keywords:

  • American borderlands;
  • demography and population studies;
  • regional development;
  • capitalism;
  • Central America;
  • farming