Nativity and Self-Assessed Health among Pre-Retirement Age Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites1


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    We would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers who made helpful comments on this article. This research was supported in part by a grant funded by the National Institute on Aging (1 R03 AG16135-01). Address correspondence to Jacqueline L. Angel, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, P.O. Box Y, Austin, TX 78713.


Economic, social and familial resources are known to influence subjective health assessments. We examine the salience of nativity in determining how these resources influence self-assessed health using a large, nationwide sample of Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adults. The results indicate that while education, accumulated assets and marital status benefit the physical and emotional health of the native and foreign-born, family resources and income are significant only for the native-born. English language proficiency is a significant protective factor for both groups and is especially protective for immigrants. These surprising findings call into question previous studies stressing the positive role of the family in maintaining immigrant health.