*Direct correspondence to Robert Kaestner, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois, 815 W. Van Buren St., Ste. 525, Chicago, IL 606007 〈firstname.lastname@example.org〉. Jay A. Pearson, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, will provide all data and coding information for those wishing to replicate the study. We thank Felicia LeClere, John Bound, and three anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts. We are also grateful to the National Institute on Aging (Grant 5 T32 AG000221) for funding part of the study. Finally, Arline Geronimus acknowledges the support of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences of Stanford University.
Stress, Allostatic Load, and Health of Mexican Immigrants*
Version of Record online: 14 OCT 2009
© 2009 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Special Issue: Special Issue on Health Policy and Healthy Populations Special Issue Co-Editor: Pauline Vaillancourt Rosenau Assistant Managing Editor: Christina Hughes
Volume 90, Issue 5, pages 1089–1111, December 2009
How to Cite
Kaestner, R., Pearson, J. A., Keene, D. and Geronimus, A. T. (2009), Stress, Allostatic Load, and Health of Mexican Immigrants. Social Science Quarterly, 90: 1089–1111. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2009.00648.x
- Issue online: 14 OCT 2009
- Version of Record online: 14 OCT 2009
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 United States, 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 U.S.-born Mexican Americans, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks, and that this health advantage is attenuated with duration of residence in the United States.
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.