Zambrano, Carolyn (2010). The health of immigrant adolescents and the transition to adulthood. 2010 Add Health Users Conference.
A substantial body of research in the field of immigration focuses on health and the so-called “immigrant health paradox.” If there is a benefit associated with being an immigrant, will this apply to adolescents who were immigrants, the children of immigrants, and later generations? If this benefit exists, will it endure as adolescents transition to adulthood? Using two waves of data from Add Health, I examine the differences in health outcomes among immigrants (1.5 generation), children of immigrants (2nd generation), and native-born adolescents of the same ethnicity with native-born parents (“3rd generation and beyond”). Health outcomes are measured by self-reported health and body mass index. I find that first generation Hispanic adolescents do indeed have higher health outcomes at Wave II; I also find that second generation Hispanic adolescents are more likely to report poor health at Wave II, but third generation Hispanic adolescents are more likely to report poor health at Wave III. At the aggregate level, Hispanic respondents are at a higher risk of being overweight or obese at Wave III, while Asians are less likely to be overweight or obese. Future research should examine behaviors such as physical activity and diet and how these change as adolescents mature.
2010 Add Health Users Conference
City of Publication